Stand Out Solo

MJ Hummel

Lauren Groene brilliantly took the stage and performed an absolutely stunning opera piece just a few months ago. “Autumn Evening”, written by Roger Quilter, is a beautiful opera-style song, which Groene performed at the “QC Solo and Ensemble Competition”, and won a “Best of Day” award. Because of this performance, she was also invited to sing at a QC Opera Showcase. 

Groene has been working on this piece for a little over a year, beginning in the spring of 2022. “Autumn Evening” can be incredibly demanding from a singer. “This piece is high in range, and that requires a lot of breath support. The measures also can be a mouthful, and those two factors together make it hard to get air,” Groene says on the matter. Groene’s mother, Amy, got to witness the changes as a singer in the months that Groene practiced the piece. She notes the serious improvement that Groene has made due to the song. “This solo has been such a learning experience for Lauren,” she says. But all of that difficulty didn’t matter to Groene. This piece is so much more than that. “I received this piece from my vocal coach after the loss of my grandmother. When I first listened to myself sing it, I was shocked that I could sound so beautiful. I knew I wanted to perform this piece as a tribute to my grandma.”

When she first listened to the piece, she connected the lyrics and musical composition to grief and the process of mourning a loved one. She interpreted it as the composer having to go through everyday life and being reminded of a passed loved one. “The song follows a minor key while entailing their grief, and finally resolves into a major key at the end, and I have especially interpreted that as the composer finally finding peace.” Groene carries extreme admiration for the piece, stating, “It beautifully describes a journey that many struggle with.”  Groene holds this piece dear to her heart, and repeatedly expresses how proud she is of herself; she only seems to regret one aspect of the performance. Groene states that she wishes she could go back in time and describe to the audience the emotional significance of “Autumn Evening” to her. She wishes she could describe how much this song relates to her journey with grief after the loss of her grandma. Despite her small regrets, Groene thinks that this piece has ultimately been an important part in understanding how emotions can be expressed through art and performance. “It has taught her how to take a piece of music and really connect from the heart,” Groene’s mom agrees. 

Groene holds a strong belief that “Autumn Evening” has changed her life. Learning and performing the song has taught her how to better handle grief, as well as how to push herself to new goals. “When I first got ‘Autumn Evening’, I couldn’t sing it without crying for almost a month. I’m proud that I can now sing it with fond memories in  mind,” Groene explained.