Student of the Week: Jani singing her way through the pressure of school


Aliya Zakir

Coppell High School junior Roma Jani rehearses a song during second period on Friday. Jani is an accomplished performer at CHS, currently participating in A Cappella, varsity mixed choir, and Madrigals. Photo by Aliya Zakir

Ishana Sharma, Staff Writer

Coppell High School junior soprano Roma Jani has been a part of choir since she was in third grade at Brooks Crossing Elementary in South Brunswick Township, N.J. Now, she is the CHS Choir vice-president and is in A Cappella, the varsity mixed choir, as well as the Madrigals. She was also a 2022 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Choir singer last year.

What is your biggest strength as a singer?

It’s my desire to portray the piece the way the musician or the composer wanted it to be portrayed. It’s important to understand that choir isn’t about what is written on paper, it is about what emotion was meant to be felt during this phrase. There’s no point in singing it if it’s just to understand [where to apply the appropriate dynamics], it’s about what that [phrase] feels like. It’s the fact that I want to learn that makes me improve.

What makes you so passionate about choir?

It’s genuinely the people. Sometimes I feel like it has nothing to do with singing itself. It is just the environment that it creates. When you are in choir and you are singing with not just yourself, but so many people – you’re breathing together, you’re leaning and tapering together – and you’re connected in that way. I made a lot of friends by doing that, because when we sing, we become one.

Do you ever get nervous before an audition? 

I do tend to get nervous, but when I’m in the room, and I feel myself doing well, my nerves tend to calm down. Usually when I feel prepared, I’m not as nervous, but if I don’t feel prepared then I get pretty nervous. [Voice lessons instructor Emily Bragg] told me a helpful tip that whenever I feel nervous, just think of yourself as a singer that is your role model. When I go in the room I tell myself I am Rihanna. I would sing like I am her with that confidence, and it makes a huge difference.

What was your reaction when you discovered that you were one of the All-State performers last year?

I was actually at Kroger, and my mom called me to tell me that I made it. I was freaking out because I would have never thought that I would have made it. I didn’t know what All-State was; I had barely any clue what it was like to be in high school choir because we were in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. But I was truly so grateful that I had that opportunity, I was so happy.

What is one skill in singing that you want to improve on?

I need to improve on breath support. That is something I have been struggling with since the beginning, and I really need to start challenging myself on it more because once you get comfortable taking a whole bunch of breaths, you’re [comfortable while singing]. I need to make a more conscious effort to reserve my breath.

Being in two varsity choirs simultaneously is time consuming, but what keeps you moving forward with singing?

It does take up a lot of time, [but] I do think I am able to manage it. Honestly, I think school would be harder if I didn’t have Madrigals and A Cappella because they’re like my breath of fresh air. They’re my friend group, they’re the people that I talk to when I’m stressed out about school. So if I didn’t have that, I would end up being more stressed.

What is your favorite choir memory?

It would probably have to be when we were at Vivace! and Madrigals (VAM) Camp two years ago during the summer. It was amazing because right off the bat I felt there was some connection that I had with them, like we were family. We were cracking jokes, and it was really special. These are people that I made really close bonds with. Even though [some of them] are in college now, I feel like I can talk to them about anything, whenever.

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