All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Cory Gross, Tenor
Fundraising for Byram Hills Grad Pursuing Opera Career

March 11, 2016
Cory Gross, graduate of Byram Hills High School class of 2012, got the theatre bug at a young age. At seven, he was cast in a local production of “Oliver.”  What followed was a variety of roles--including

Horton in “Seussical,” and Jack in “Into the Woods.” But it wasn’t until his voice teacher assigned him a song from “The Practical Method of Italian Singing” at the age of 12, that it really clicked. He felt a passion about the music that he hadn’t experienced with musical theatre. He felt it was something he was meant to sing.

What followed was enrollment in the full-day Saturday classical music program at Manhattan School of Music during his high school years at Byram. There, he earned credit toward his college degree at Rice University, where he is currently a tenor majoring in Vocal Performance.  Along the way, Cory has entered classical singing competitions, and placed first in a contest sponsored by Classical Singer Magazine at Hofstra University.  

Studying opera is quite challenging:  Cory has to master four languages (Italian, German, French and English) so that his diction is perfect when performing; music theory, music history, aural skills, vocal repertoire, acting, and movement are other required courses. Cory has also added a Business Minor to his degree (which needed special approval since the coursework is already so challenging for music majors).

Opera singers are like athletes, in a way:  They have to keep at it, otherwise their craft will falter. Therefore, every summer Cory has participated in various summer programs where he gets added opportunities to perform and learn. These have included the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (which included a performance with John Williams), SongFest at Colburn in Los Angeles, and the Aspen Music Festival.

This summer provides Cory with his biggest role (and challenge) yet. He was cast in the title role in the opera “Albert Herring” by Benjamin Britten at Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point. He will head straight to Arkansas following his graduation at Rice to begin rehearsals and study.  This was an opportunity that Cory couldn’t pass up, even though he is short on funds for travel and expenses.

Cory has sent up a fundraising site, in order to help raise the money so that he can perform the role of a lifetime. Cory feels it is so humbling to ask for assistance, but anything raised to help his dream come true would be so appreciated.