Sarah Perdekamp's story is as impressive as her velvety, award-winning voice. Here's only part of it ahead of The Chorale's annual concert at 7 p.m. today at Faith United Methodist in Champaign, where Perdekamp and two others will receive Young Artist Scholarships as well as perform (tickets are $15 and available at the door).
• She grew up surrounded by sweet music. Sometimes, she'll join her mom (violin), dad (piano) and brother (trumpet) for impromptu concerts at home. Or Clark-Lindsey Village, where they've performed for residents. Or even Germany, where her grandparents live.
"Music is simply an important aspect of my family's life, and every one of us plays an instrument," the Uni High senior said. "We like to get together to play some tunes once in a while."
• She got an early start, learning the violin at age 3 and joining her first choir at 6. Whether it's with the Central Illinois Youth Choir, the Uni High Madrigals or St. Patrick's Children's Chorus, she enjoys being part of a musically gifted team.
"I love to sing a variety of genres and think this stems from my experience with the church choirs I've been in," she said.
• Her dream stage is the Opéra Bastille in Paris.
"I recently was fortunate enough to see the performance of 'La Bohème' there, starring a soprano with a gorgeous voice. I hope to travel a lot throughout my career as a singer — and to meet a diverse group of people and musicians."
• Her next stop: Indiana University, which might be better in music than basketball.
"They have one of the biggest music schools in the country, so I believe I will really have to strive to do my best. I think this push will motivate me to continue to better my training."