Olaizola realizes she can’t pursue both of her passions. She says she’ll never want to stop dancing, but she plans to concentrate on piano after she graduates from Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School this year. She’d like to do a double major in music and environmental science.
She enjoys every step of piano playing. “When you first start a piece, you’re discovering so many things,” she says. “When you get near a performance, you’re worried about the technical part. But when I know a piece well, I’m going to just listen to the sound and try to enjoy the moment.”
Olaizola performs in a master class, open to the public, March 9 at the Music Center at Strathmore.
An impressive debut
The first time he sang onstage, Jobari Parker-Namdar was in fifth grade at Chevy Chase Elementary School. The next time, he sang an operatic aria in a recital at DC’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The 22-year-old Howard University junior has been center stage ever since.
Last spring, his performance in The Stephen Schwartz Project at MetroStagewas deemed one of the “most auspicious debuts” of the theater season by Washington Post critic Peter Marks.
A music and theater major, Parker-Namdar also sings in concert with his mother, Pam Parker. The duo has appeared at Blues Alley and Signature Theatre’s cabaret.
What he loves best about performing is the storytelling and the way singing transforms him: “You start to breathe differently, your body moves differently, you are totally alive in the moment.”
Parker-Namdar will appear in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Adventure Theatre June 26 through August 8.