This past winter, voice performance major Anchal Indu Dhir ’23 got an exceptional opportunity to travel to Carnegie Hall in New York City and participate in a three-day master class taught by award-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Dhir was one of five—of just under 500 applicants—from around the world chosen to take part in this prestigious program, which consisted of training and a mock audition with industry professionals. “I just let out the most horrifically loud scream when I saw the email. It was like one of the best things I’ve ever seen,” said Dhir.
It’s no wonder she was so excited. Dhir had first discovered DiDonato’s master classes when her high school voice teacher showed her YouTube videos of DiDonato. From then on, Dhir said, she was mesmerized. “I knew then, at age 15, that I wanted to work with Joyce,” said Dhir.
Sometimes, meeting an idol can be disappointing—but it wasn’t in this case. Dhir said that DiDonato, a highly decorated and talented artist, made her feel comfortable from the beginning of the program. “Every day, we’d wake up, meet with Joyce, and literally sit knee to knee in a circle. She’d intimately tell us stories, and we got to ask her questions, and we talked about life,” Dhir said.