School of Music > Community Music > About Us > Student Profiles > Grace Statuskas
We lived in Germany for about 10 years and that’s where I really
started my singing. We all lived in one camp and there was a man there
that was a violin instructor. He would play his violin and I would sing
and one day he said I had a great voice. There was a big cathedral in
town (Regensburgh Cathedral) and he played while I sang. I was ten years
old and it was my big debut.
No one in my family was musical except my father. He played violin and piano - all self taught. He was also a visual artist.
After I joined the Lithuanian Opera, the director told me that I
should really study singing. My family, which was as that point was my
mom, sister, and daughter, gave me voice lessons for my birthday. Every
week they would take turns paying. So I started my career.
Singing at Symphony Center was just unbelievable. I also sang with
the Chicago Lithuanian opera twice in Lithuanian. After Lithuania
declared its independence from the Soviet Union we were the first
Americans to cross the border into a free Lithuania.
In addition to the Lithuanian Opera I’m in a chorus called Sing to
Live, Live to Sing. It was a group that was formed for a friend who had
breast cancer as a way to give her musical support. A lot of the people
in the chorus are breast cancer survivors – I’m not – but I love being
in the group. The group has been around for four years now and there’s
59 women AND men.
I was looking for another chorus, something different. A friend of
mine was singing here at DePaul and she said that they need good voices,
so I joined. The greatest benefit was not only the musical satisfaction
that the chorus gave me but also the friendships that got formed. From
the beginning our small group became the summer singers and we became
friends outside of singing. Now we’re able to share our lives because of
singing. It’s not where you sing but who you sing with.