Hello to all! My name is Jessica Darlene Griggs. I have been pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance since 2012. I began as an older student, about five or six years older than most of my peers at the time. The reason for the slow progress is due to having to stop my educational pursuits intermittently because of family crises where I had no choice but to take sabbaticals and work sometimes up to three jobs to keep my family out of destitution. Due to my age, I do not qualify for many funding programs, even if it only by one year. I am a first generation college student as well as a first generation classical vocalist.
I have been told many times, "Why is this so important? Surely, you can find a more 'respectable' career that is more stable." Yes, I could. (And I have worked office jobs so much that I am ready to burst!) The reason why I know I am called to perform is because I can put myself out in front of others to give them an unadulterated view of raw emotion that I am channeling through a character. It takes very special, strong, and sensitive people to be willing to become vulnerable publicly, especially when a situation hits you in the middle of your own problems. Strangely enough, it helps you deal with your own inner demons in a roundabout way. If any message I portray or sing touches someone's life, it makes it all worth while.
Any and all funds graciously given to me are going to be used to further my training to become a professional opera singer. Specifically, I am pursuing funding for the Music in the Marche in Mondavio, Italy for their summer program in 2019. I will also be pursuing other young artist programs as funds are available in order to build my experience.
Thank you for taking time to read this and I hope you can find it in your heart to give towards this. There is a saying that I have adopted as a life motto as I continue on this journey, "Where there are no words, music still speaks."