Lord told me, 'sing-that'll be the easy A,' " she recalled. She figured most people auditioning for the choir would offer something more sophisticated than the theme from The Sound ifMusic. When Robert Porco heard Vickie's voice, it didn't matter what she was smgmg. Porco, who would become her theory teacher, soon had her vocalizing-match- ing pitches played on the piano. As he moved to his left on the keyboard, she ntered uncharted territory. "I'd never
sung low," she said. "He took me down
to a real low register and I couldn't
Porco, now chair of the choral depart-
ment at Indiana University, said, "She
had really quite a voice then, for such a
young person." He described it as a dark,
rich, "monstrous" operatic voice.
Porco quickly gathered other members
of the music faculty, and Hill Hall was
alive with The Sound of Music once again.
Vickie, phone home.
"It was a velY fine voice, but it was
'When I go there I
feel confident I'm
going to get the
best medical care possible. "
-Shirley McKellar, Lupus Patient
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The Center is
designated by the
Of Health as one
Of two Specialized
Centers Of Re-
for the study Of
lupus and related
rough," Wing said. "But she got turned
on very quickly. It's a very exciting thing
to realize you can express yourselfvocally."
By her junior year Vickie was teaching
voice in the music department-unusual
for an undergraduate.
"She has not only the ability but the
deternUnation," Wing said. "People poked
fun at her in Boston because of her
Southern accent. They soon took another
look at her when she was the only one at
the next rehearsal who had learned all
John Moriarty of the Boston Conserva-
tory can1e to UNC to teach a master class,
and he noticed Vickie. She was like a
sponge, he told her, thirsting for whatever
she could learn and adept at mimicking
what she absorbed. He offered her a
scholarship for her master's training.
The doors had all opened in front of her
so far, but still, Vickie wondered, after the
accomplishments and the awards and the
master's, what would she do with all this?
The Metropolitan Opera auditions are
a grueling ordeal consisting of seven or
eight rounds before you ever even get to
New York. There are only 10 winners
per year. Moriarty suggested Vickie tly it
immediately after finishing at the conser-
vatory-just for fun.
"I never entered with any intent of
winning," she said.
Apparently the judges didn't get the
message. She won on the first try. Soon
she had the right teachers, the best advice,
an audience of opera managers and money
to start her career. But no career. That's
not one of the prizes.
Power of the music
In 1990 Victoria put in her first time
in the basement. That's the part of the
Met where the covers, or understudies,
go to wait, and wait. Prior to her debut
she spent a lot of time there- and never
once went on. She believes her break
came, however, in being heard during
Victoria will never be the one sitting
quietly behind a post when an opportunity
comes along. She is boldly proactive and
seems to have adopted the old adage of
) a /I II ary / Febr II ary 1 99 7