Oak Knoll fifth-grader Andrew Pulver performed “Ave Maria” at Carnegie Hall in New York City earlier this month winning third place out of 10 finalists in the Audray Competition for Young Singers.
Pulver, 11, was awarded a full scholarship at the Audray School for his performance in the Audray Competition. Pulver will study operetta/musical theatre every Saturday for an entire year at the Audray School in New York City at Lincoln Center.
The Carnegie Hall performance took place in Weill Recital Hall, which Pulver said had great acoustics.
“My voice rang through the entire hall,” he said. “It was very exciting.”
Pulver studies voice and piano with Lali Giorgadez and also studies voice with acclaimed opera singer Maria Todaro. He is a member of the New Jersey Youth Chorus and sings with the Phoenicia Community Choir in Phoenicia, NY.
In addition to his solo singing, Pulver also plays Amahl in Amahl and The Night Visitors, alternating shows with . Amahl and the Night Visitors is showing on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 at the Oakes Center in Summit.
Pulver’s performance in Amahl and The Night Visitors was his first large performance and first opera performance.
“I had to work very hard at the acting and stage movements,” he said.
He added that he learned a lot during this opera performance, such as singing out to the audience and learning not to block others on stage.
In the future, Pulver said he would love to do another opera and maybe even try out musicals.
“I LOVE to sing,“ Pulver exclaimed. He said he enjoys performing opera because it allows him to sing challenging music while acting.
Pulver’s mother Tanya Pulver said she recalls her son’s first singing performance when he was three years old.
“On St. Nicholas Day at an old Slovak church in New York City there is a traditional celebration in which children go on stage and sing for St. Nicholas in order to receive a present,” she said. “I noticed that he sang so beautifully and in tune, and even at the age of three, already could capture the attention of an audience and bring tears to their eyes.”
Tanya Pulver said Andrew’s performance at the church made her realize she needed to nurture the gift Andrew has.
She added that when Andrew grows up she can see him in a career in business, engineering or music.
“I think he would be successful at any of these,” she said.
Andrew Pulver said that when he grows up he’d like to be an electrical engineer or a solo vocal performer singing classical music or jazz. He added that he would also like to perform in operas or on Broadway.
Pulver also enjoys origami, hiking and playing soccer. He has played for both the Summit Soccer Club and the Oak Knoll School.
Tanya Pulver said that she often reminds Andrew that his voice is a gift to make others happy.
“The voice is such an incredible instrument, it really has the capability of touching emotions,” she said “He can bring happiness to so many people. This is what it's all about, I always want him to remember that!”
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