Lily Holgate has been gliding her bow across a violin since kindergarten and finally decided that she wanted to make her passion her life. The freshly graduated Saratoga Springs senior already has a sign that this career in music has a good chance of working out, as winner of the Outstanding Performer award given out by Schenectady Light Opera Company each year.
"I guess they just really enjoyed my performance, my singing and my acting, which I'm really honored to hear," said Holgate, who won the same award in 2008. "I think they like how I've added to the shows and my character, because I played two very different characters both times."
Scouts from the opera company scope out the local musicals in search of the best performers in the Capital Region. The Saratoga Springs high school drama club won the first-place award for the region's best high school musical for the March production of "Bells are Ringing." The drama club also won a top award in 2008 and second place in 2009. Seventeen high schools, from Columbia to Saratoga County, participated in the competition.
Drama club director Bob Berenis said seven other students were nominated for the "Outstanding Performer" award and that the club has proved "high schoolers can put on shows of high quality and entertain their audiences."
Holgate has always touted herself as a musician but seemed to always have the acting bug in her blood, with parents that have always been in theater. She said she joined drama club her freshman year for a change of pace, and has been having fun onstage ever since.
"High school gave me an opportunity to try my hand at acting. I always knew I kind of wanted to do it but never got the chance," said Holgate.
Musicianship and masquerading onstage are two very different experiences, said Holgate, but she's grown to love them both.