At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, Daryn Nowlin ’21 made a promise to herself: “Whatever it was in the coming year, I was going to go for it,” she decided. With a school year that had ended in a pandemic, Nowlin looked forward with optimism and excitement.
Thanks to the encouragement of her voice teacher, Graceland Adjunct Voice Professor and accomplished operatic bass-baritone Stephen Cunningham, Daryn applied and was accepted to La Musica Lirica, a prestigious international summer opera training program in Novafeltria, Italy.
“I have always wanted to travel, and it is good for aspiring performers to create audition videos,” Nowlin said. “Amazingly, I was accepted to the first one I went after.”
Originally from Lamoni, Daryn almost didn’t attend Graceland. “All of my family came here, and I thought I would be the one to go somewhere else,” Nowlin said with a smile. “I’m so glad I didn’t. Graceland’s incredible professors and the diversity on campus is so inspiring to me.”
Daryn’s decision to stay in Lamoni has benefitted Graceland as well. “She’s just good at everything she does and is a prime example of the type of student we all want,” said Sara Blessing, Graceland’s director of choral and vocal activities. Daryn truly is the quintessential Gracelander. She is a double major in Music and English with a minor in creative writing, a softball player and theatre performer.
That ability to be involved is a big part of why Daryn is so glad to be at Graceland. Her senior project for her English degree is a play she is writing that she said, “brings all of her experiences together.” She is composing a song that will be a part of the play, blending her love of writing and music into a beautiful harmony.
Daryn’s work ethic is evident. Cunningham said, “If you walk through the Shaw Center and can hear singing or practicing at all hours of the day, it’s probably Daryn.”
“And what undergraduates are able to perform in a facility like Carol Hall?” Nowlin exclaimed. “Our facilities are incredible, and our music faculty are unsurpassed.”
Nowlin’s positivity shines as she looks to the future. “I can’t wait to sing in the opera halls of Italy. I know I want to pursue performing as my career, and this is a great opportunity,” she said. “I know it is an extremely competitive industry, but who knows what’s next?”