THE BLOSSOM AND THE BUD – Eleven-year-old Agne Giedraityte and established singer-songwriter Audrone Simanonyte will participate in the Lithuanian World Unity Day international concert on July 17th 2013 in Kaunas.

Having found an opportunity, I took a moment to speak to the fifth grader to find out more about her and her musical interests.

Agnė is an active participant in Lithuanian community life in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, IL. She sings with the children’s choir “Vyturys”, attends weekend Lithuanian studies, is a member of the Lithuanian Catholic youth organization “Ateitininkai”, and has danced in the children’s division of the folk dance group “Grandis”. She trains with a local swim club during the summer.

She began piano studies with Nida Grigalaviciute at the age of 6. When her talent and interest in singing became obvious a year later, Ms. Grigalaviciute added introductory vocal studies.

An eight year old Agnė first charmed her audience during the “Most Talented Lithuanian American” competition – she was awarded third place by the competition judges’ vote, and first place by the audience vote. Agne’s voice can frequently be heard during mass at the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis Mission in Lemont, at Lithuanian Community events, and at frequent US vocal competitions, where she always has a strong finish.

After three years on the stage, Agne no longer battles stage fright, but does occasionally worry that one day she may forget a measure of music or part of the lyrics – but her focus is stayed on portraying the emotions the composer meant to convey, and on sharing the beauty of song with her audience.

Asked to share her favorite composers, she names Mozart, Bach and Schubert for their beautiful melodic lines, and lists Renée Fleming, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli and her contemporary Jackie Evancho as her favorite classical and crossover artists. Her favorite contemporary artists are Katie Perry, Pink, and Taylor Swift.

If she would have to choose a field of study or a career path today, it would be vocal performance or music education. It shall be a pleasure to follow Agne’s musical development and what the future has in store for her, and we sincerely hope that both she and her audience continue to be blessed by the joy of music.

We anticipate the realease of Agne’s first CD this fall featuring songs of various genres.

Audrone Simanonyte was born in Kaunas, the daughter of a Lithuanian Freedom Figher, whose mother was a political prisoner in Soviet-occupied Lithuania.

Having completed her studies in Lithuanian Language and Literature at Vilnius University, she currently resides in the USA and is on the writing staff of the newsletter “Amerikos Lietuvis” – she is also a frequent contributor to several other Lithuanian media outlets.

Studying singing was a lifelong yearning for Audrone. She didn’t have the opportunity to follow that dream until she moved from Chicago, IL to New York City a handful of hears ago. She seized the opportunity to study vocal performance at the Juilliard School of Music, rounding off her studies at the NY “Singers’ Forum”.

The themes of Audrone’s songs are diverse. She writes about love, relationships, and about her homeland, Lithuania. Many of her songs feature lyrics written by her mother, Silvija Simanoniene.

We wish both singers success in their endeavors!

– Rūta Pakštaitė Cole –