Jenna Nash always loved singing. Her Caronport High School experience helped that gift to blossom and grow.
“Before I came to CHS I was really, really shy,” she explained. “Coming to CHS kind of broke my shell and made me try new things.”
The Mortlach resident, decided to come to CHS in Grade 9 when her best friend enrolled.
“My Mom suggested I should go with her so she’s not alone,” Nash said with a grin. “So after a lot of thinking and praying and arguing I decided to come to Caronport.”
Nash credits the arts program for a lot of her personal growth.
“Mr. Frostad (former choir instructor) . . . pushed me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I loved singing but I didn’t like doing it in front of people. Concert choir, tour choir, and dessert theatre gave me opportunities to build my confidence and as cheesy as it sounds to bloom like a flower.”
Nash’s spiritual life also blossomed at CHS.
“I kind of knew about Jesus and God at the right times, like Christmas and Easter,” she explained. “But I didn’t really understand that you could have a personal relationship. It wasn’t until I came here that that really clicked.”
Nash, who just completed her third year in vocal performance at Briercrest College and Seminary, enjoyed an internship this year that allowed her to step back into the world of high school choir.
“I really enjoyed conducting,” she said. “An opportunity came up to be an intern for Scott Finch – to kind of be his right hand man in the high school choir. To learn the ins and outs of what it’s like to be an actual conductor and get that experience which was really beneficial – it gave me good experience to be a leader in a teaching environment in case that’s something I want to pursue.”
The experience hit the mark for the vocal performance major.
“I loved it,” she said. “It’s kind of getting back to my roots a little bit – going back to the high school and reliving those choir days.”
Becoming comfortable in the leadership role was a bit uncomfortable at first.
“It was really weird being a leader when these kids are only two and three years younger than me . . . Who am I to tell them what to do?” she remarked. “But it was really good. They’re such good kids and respond really well. When I’d ask them to do something they’d do it.”
Nash was one of 22 Briercrest students who performed with other university students at Carnegie Hall.
“Oh, that was amazing – probably the most life-changing musical experience ever,” she beamed. “To work with really inspiring and amazing musicians who have spent years and years developing their craft. Just looking at the members in the orchestra – some of them are members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra so even just seeing them play . . . how devoted they are with their instruments was really inspiring.”
Besides developing her voice, which is her major instrument, Nash enjoys playing the ocarina and the autoharp, two instruments that are unique.
“I always wanted to play the harp, but it’s such a huge instrument and it’s really expensive,” she said. “My boss sent me an email that someone was selling an autoharp about two to three years ago. So I (typed in) autoharp on Google images and I saw it. I didn’t even know what it sounded like but I was sold. I learned about the ocarina through my friend who had one at Christmas, so then I wanted one because I tried hers out.”
Nash’s ocarina-playing skills were featured in this year’s classical music concert at Briercrest. She says coming to college at Briercrest after attending CHS seemed like the next step to make.
“There’s so many great teachers and mentors right here,” she explained. “So it would seem kind of silly to go somewhere else when I can get amazing quality education right here.”