Enumclaw graduate Kelly Ferguson headed for opera career

Plateau area Kelly Ferguson fans expect her to be the next star in Enumclaw’s Walk of Fame.

The 2007 Enumclaw High School graduate is making a name for herself in the world of music, specifically opera. She recently earned one of the few openings into the prestigious San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Not too shabby for a farm girl, who was forced to choose between a choir class or shop as a middle school elective. At the time, she found neither appealing, but at least she liked music.

“I had so much fun with it,” the 21-year-old said. She found her passion in that class. She kept singing. She won her first solo competition and was hooked.

She started studying with a private teacher and kept picking up superior ratings. Since graduating, Ferguson has been studying with Sandra Glover at Highline Community College in Burien, Wash., and is receiving her associate of arts degree in music this month.

With graduation from Highline looming, Ferguson started the next step by applying to a few select music school and conservatories. Each of her applications was accepted, but she picked her top choice – San Francisco Conservatory of Music - to focus her effort.

“I applied there thinking in a blue moon I might get in,” she said.

She auditioned along with 650 other hopefuls for one of 14 spots in the undergraduate and graduate program.

Not only did Ferguson make it, the straight-A student and 4H volunteer leader recieved their highest scholarship offer.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest, major independent conservatory of music on the West Coast, often referred to as the Julliard of the west coast. Located in a new $80 million facility, it offers a rigorous performance program in an intimate atmosphere where students work closely with faculty and staff. A school of a few more than 390 students, SFCM limits enrollment to ensure every student receives individual attention and performance opportunities.

The San Francisco Conservatory has produced a number of performers in the opera world and Ferguson, who has already had offers with opera companies, is hoping to add her name to the list.

“My passion is opera,” she said. “I think I can have a solid career in opera.”

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