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Alumni Profile: Meredith Arwady '00

As an award-winning opera professional, Meredith Arwady ’00 has received acclaim and performed nationwide.

Following her training at Hope, she attended the master’s program in opera at the prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Pa., where the acceptance rate is only about one in 100.

Among multiple other honors in the years since, she was one of only three winners in the New York Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for 2004. She has performed with the New Orleans Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Chicago Opera Theatre. Currently, she is in the young artist program of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As much as she enjoys her chosen field, however, she especially values the broad, liberal arts experience she found at Hope.

“I’m extremely glad I chose Hope College as my undergraduate school,” she said. “I love opera, but I also want to have outside interests and I love pursuing other avenues of knowledge.”

Arwady majored in both music and English. Her activities ranged from intercollegiate athletics, to intramurals, to being a volunteer children’s tutor, to serving as a resident assistant and on Student Congress. She traveled abroad every summer -- to Europe with the Chapel Choir, and to Africa, India and Austria through Hope academic programs.

She also, of course, had numerous chances to perform, including not only several appearances with the Chapel Choir each year but departmental recitals and concerts and musical theatrical productions.

Along the way, she also enjoyed individual attention from professors and a sense of community that she considers second-to-none.

“Hope is a good place to explore your options and to have a relationship with faculty that you just couldn’t have anywhere else, because their dedication to the student is limitless and you really feel that they would bend over backwards to help you understand a passage or to sing a line,” Arwady said.

Friends from conservatories, she said, tell of giving their senior recitals in small rooms with a few people attending. She preferred her experience.

“I had so much fun with my recital when I graduated,” she said. “It was in the chapel. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there, and so many people who meant so much to me.”

“All these people had so much to do with why I would come to a place like Hope -- why I always feel that I have a school home, which so many of my friends who came through conservatories just don’t have a sense of,” Arwady said.

This profile was written by Melissa Sexton, a 2005 Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2005-06 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.