A song in her heart: C of I student shares her love of music on stage
When Jordan Bowman was 3, her parents bought her a toy microphone and she used it to belt out Christmas carols year-round.
When she was 4, Bowman sang into a real microphone for the first time, performing "America the Beautiful" during an Independence Day festival in Melba.
Eighteen years later, Bowman’s passion for singing is stronger than ever. The College of Idaho senior and aspiring opera singer has compiled an impressive resume at the C of I, taking advantage of every opportunity to share and expand upon her vocal talents.
“The excitement I feel when I am singing is something that I really love,” Bowman said. “When I’m performing, I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Bowman, a graduate of American Falls High School, is majoring in music (applied voice) with minors in theatre, health, psychology and music performance. She is involved with virtually every performing group on campus, including Scarlet Masque theatre club, C of I Chorale and Chamber Singers, C of I Opera and the a cappella sextet Major Sixth.
In just three-and-a-half years, Bowman’s list of credits includes the plays The Hot L Baltimore, Pericles, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the current production, Baby with the Bathwater. She also has starred in the operas Tales of Hoffmann, The Telephone and Semele, which she directed.
“I’ve been very lucky to have gotten the parts I’ve had at this school,” Bowman said. “I think one of the best things The College of Idaho has to offer is that if you want to take a leadership position, it’s there. You have to work, but if you’re willing to do that, you can do some really awesome things.”
During her extra-busy senior year, Bowman estimates she sings for about 4 hours every day, dividing her time between classwork and performance events. Her hard work paid off this fall as she received an Irene Ryan Scholarship nomination to take part in an acting competition during the spring 2014 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Boise. She received the honor while portraying Helen, the female lead in Baby with the Bathwater.
“Two things about Jordan: She’s brilliant, and she’s a professional,” said Kathy Simpson, the C of I adjunct theatre instructor who is directing the show. “She loves theatre, she loves the art, and she loves the work. Even when she’s exhausted, she’s truly committed to doing the best job possible.”
C of I music professor and choir director Dr. Brent Wells concurs.
“Jordan’s the best,” Wells said. “She’s extremely talented, but even though she recognizes that she’s good, she’s also very willing to work hard and improve. She has a very bright future as a performer.”
In January, Bowman will deliver her final performances on the Langroise Center stage during Mozart’s The Magic Flute, an opera she is both directing and starring in. The dual workload is a huge undertaking, making it a perfect fit for Bowman’s C of I swan song.
“It takes a lot of hard work and collaboration to effectively create your artistic vision for a show,” Bowman said. “I’ve learned so much here just by doing. Dr. Brent Wells has been such a great support. Dr. Mari Jo Tynon has pushed me to overcome my vocal fears. I’ve learned so much about theatre and performance from Joe Golden and Mike Hartwell.
“I recently watched a video of a performance from freshman year, and I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t have gained those skills if I didn’t come here.”