HAMLET — Richmond Senior High choral student Ashleigh Adamson wasn’t expecting what she received Thursday morning: a full music scholarship from Methodist University.
The presentation was made by Dr. Susan Durham-Lozaw and Dr. Michael Martin from Methodist University in front of the chorus at Cole Auditorium.
“I was very surprised!” she said. “My grandma had told me that they were going to be taking pictures … but I hadn’t thought it would be anything like a full tuition scholarship.”
The private Fayetteville college was one of several institutions the senior applied to ― the others being Elon University, the N.C. School of the Arts and Wingate University — Adamson said “it was definitely the school that I felt I could make a home at.”
Adamson said she began singing when she was about 4 or 5 years old.
“She was about 4 when she heard the “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” and started hitting the high notes while playing around the house,” said her mother, Cherri Wilson Adamson. “After that, it never stopped. She started singing everything she could find online from all genres of music. It’s in her blood and soul.
“I am very proud and she amazes me every day!” her mother continued. “She has worked so hard for this. She practices all the time.”
Adamson comes from a musical family background, with her grandmother, Glenda Sherrill, singing and playing a variety of instruments including piano, guitar, banjo and bagpipes.
“Everyone has always sang in choirs, whether church choir or school choirs,” she said. “Music is such a passion for me because I find it really lets me escape to another world and convey to others how I feel.”
But family isn’t her only personal influence, with choir director Erin McNair topping the list.
“She has gone above and beyond for me and I couldn’t ask for a better choir director and mentor,” Adamson said. “My family and best friends are also another big influence because they have had my back and supported me from day one, as well as the chorus, who has also supported me through everything.”
While her favorite types of music are pop and alternative, Adamson said she finds “that there’s something very special about classical music that just can’t be beat by any other genre.”
After graduating, Adamson hopes to jumpstart a career in opera or on Broadway.
She also plans on going to graduate school “to further my vocal skills and my knowledge of vocal technique as I would also love to teach voice.”