Singing from two periods of music: Carter Foerch’s enjoyment and passion of singing eclectically

Story and videos by Zoe Ekeh

Singing classical music in a recital hall, playing covers of modern songs on a piano or keyboard and composing music are how Carter Foerch displays his musical talent. And those three pieces of his musical pursuits carry different weights in his day-to-day life.

Most importantly – at least for now – Foerch studies classical music performance as a music major at Cedarville University. Classical music has a complex history, and Foerch finds it remarkable that he studies and performs this long-lived genre.

Sitting down in front of a piano and singing classic rock songs is what he likes to do in his free time. Foerch is passionate about this genre as a performer. He grew up listening to it.

“It’s fun to be able to make it my own,” Foerch said.

Composing is the other musical talent that Foerch has recently picked while in college. He would consider what he does to be more like songwriting instead of composing a musical score. He doubted himself for a while on picking up the skill, but he realized he could write songs when he started trying.

“It’s a process – there’s not really a good way to take lessons in that,” Foerch said. “You can take classes in it, but it’s pretty unique to the person.”

When it comes to singing and performing different styles of music there are different techniques required for each. Classical music requires strict performance formality – standing properly, outward presentation, breathing well, and pronouncing vowels are some of the applied skills needed to sing the classical properly.

“That’s how you get a more operatic sound, which is more focused on the music itself as a whole, and less so on the poetry or stylistics stuff,” Foerch said.

Classic rock is the type of music that should evoke emotion when being sung. Folk music requires singers to take light breaths when they sing.

Foerch performs formally about twice a month, whether as a part of a recital hall concert or singing a vocal performance for his major.

“As a whole, it’s just a difference in your goal,” Foerch said. “If you’re singing classically, your goal is very much to have a big, full experience, which is still a goal, but in other singing there’s a lot more focus on the emotion or the words and the passion.”

Foerch is always prepared to perform formally and informally. A formal performance requires him to wear a suit and perform according to an arranged program in front of an invited audience. While setting up a keyboard in a random public location and singing is the informal performances Foerch does more frequently.

“A lot of times I’ll go busking, sometimes Yellow Springs sometimes Cedarville, and perform there,” Foerch said.

Busking is performing in public, such as sidewalk across from several stores, and leaving some sort of container for observers to drop money in. Musicians usually busk to expose their craft and make a little cash.

Producing concerts is something Foerch does as well. This job has helped him understand the planning that goes into arranging a formal concert.

An opportunity that came along with being able to produce a concert was professionally recording music. A year ago, Foerch produced a concert at the Cedarville Opera House and got a Cedarville music department faculty member to record the concert professionally.

“That’s the one time I’ve had it professionally recorded, hopefully more in the future,” Foerch said.

From an early age Foerch cultivated his musical talents. He has taken piano lessons for about 7-8 years, stopping around the age of 15-16. He has been vocally trained by a few different teachers from the age of 12.

“Everybody gives you a different perspective, which is amazing,” Foerch said.

Always having an interest in music, since he was a young child Foerch has loved singing. When he became a teenager, he took voice lessons to cultivate his voice and master the art of singing. Even with all the training, Foerch has always believed that his ability to sing well is a gift from God which is what has allowed him to continuously pursue his talent.

On the other hand, Foerch is not as experienced with playing the piano. It is not a natural skill for Foerch, although he is practicing arduously to become highly skilled at playing.

“That one is pretty foreign even now, so a lot of lessons to be able to do what I’m doing with it,” Foerch said.

Foerch dreams of performing with his talents professionally. Currently he does not have any connections to professionals that can help him get on a big stage and perform, which is a logical dilemma.

“So, you try to find things that you’re still excited about that aren’t performing – so, that you could have good fall backs in any eventuality,” Foerch said.

The music genres that Foerch performs with are classical, classic rock, and folk. He likes to sing all these genres at once when he performs for his own interest.

“I think probably if I were to perform, I would have to find sound that was a little bit of everything – because I don’t think I can probably perform just one concrete thing,” Foerch said.

Besides becoming a professional performer with his musical talents Foerch wants to also become a professor. He is currently on a fast-track path as a Cedarville University student in which he is working on getting his bachelor’s and master’s degree within five years. After Foerch graduates, he wants to teach and eventually obtain a doctorate degree to become a professor.

“It’s a long process to get there,” Foerch said. “But I’m excited about it.”

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