Lenihan/Miller vocal music teacher selected for Simon Estes concert series

Brianna Yates, vocal music teacher at Lenihan Intermediate and Miller Middle schools, has been selected for the “Young Performing Artist” series as part of Simon Estes’ “Roots and Wings” tour. The series kicks off this weekend in Hampton, Iowa.

“This program was developed to give young artists a chance to perform,” Yates said. “Many students that pursue a performing major do not get real opportunities to be on big stages.”

The “Young Performing Artist” tour is focused on helping young performers improve their abilities and connect with different audiences. The program helps them improve their skills in public performance, educational outreach and media relations.

Yates’ selection for the program happened almost by accident. She was talking with Estes and tour manager Paul Ferrone about bringing the “Roots and Wings” concert to Marshalltown when they began to inquire about her background and musical aspirations.

“They asked me to prepare a small set of pieces to sing for Simon,” Yates said. “Afterward, told me about this program and how they wanted me to be the first from Iowa to take part in it.”

Yates and fellow young artist Jeremy Collier will spend March 11-12 performing in schools around Hampton and Franklin County, with the penultimate Young Artist Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at Faith Baptist Church in Hampton.

The Hampton concert is just the first in the series.

“This program will allow me to prepare music as a true artist,” Yates said. “It makes me feel like a real celebrity – Simon and Paul have been so supportive of both my teaching and singing.  I am learning to juggle a full time job and still live my dreams on the side”

Yates, a soprano, received her bachelor’s degree in vocal music education and vocal performance from Iowa State University. While at Iowa State, she sang in the Iowa State Singers and was cast in several SOV productions and Opera Studio performances