Sing Me Your Story
Posted on 05/18/2020
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Renowned singer David Sabella has done Broadway, Carnegie Hall, among many other endeavors. On May 13th and 14th, singers at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day had the privilege to learn directly from him during a vocal masterclass.

In front of individual computer screens, vocalists from grades 9-12 each took turns performing a piece of music for him while he listened from his personal New York vocal studio. “I see all of you joining me from your different bedrooms each uniquely decorated” Sabella said as spoke of the importance of personifying a song. “A really good song is one that can survive outside the show it came from.”

One student, a senior, sang a song from one of his favorite Broadway shows. Sabella asked him what he thinks about when he sings it. The student then spoke about a strained relationship with his grandfather. So he asked him to recite the lyrics as if he is in discussion with his him. As the singer enacted the words, his classmates all felt the raw release of his emotions. The song was then performed again with that intensity.

The next student sang “Once Upon a Dream” from Jekyll and Hyde. When she was asked about what she thinks about, her response was that it was nothing in particular but just the show that the song came from. So he spoke to her about personal experience and asked her if there is anybody, a relationship, etc., that she would speak those same words to. She gave it some thought and was able to personally relate it to someone in her life. He then had her sing it again. The resulting performance he said took on more power.

He then shared a personal revelation. The people on Broadway, he said, are sharing their own experiences. They are singing about their own lives regardless of the show they are in.

“You never get hired because you have a phenomenal voice. You get hired with what you do with that voice. The actor is the first one to walk in. The Singer cleans up.”

The day ended with a student performing the 90s Alternative song “Ironic.” He told her to find the comedy in the lyrics laughing as he spoke the lyrics “It’s like rain on your wedding day.”

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