Sarah Cloutier Brings Broadway to SWHS with her Spotlight Solo


Jessica Vieira, Writer

The South Windsor High School Music department held their annual Season of Song winter concert on Wednesday, December 4th. Between group performances, a handful of auditioned individuals performed. There were mini acapella groups and many different solo acts. One of which was Sarah Cloutier, who sang the song In My Dreams by S. Flaherty from the musical Anastasia

Cloutier had been practicing the song for a while and had auditioned for a spotlight solo with it in her sophomore year. She didn’t get the solo, but that didn’t dampen her spirits. Cloutier decided to audition the day that the audition was taking place, and since she knew the song so well she decided to audition with it. This is Cloutier’s first spotlight solo she’s gotten all four years. Before this, Cloutier played Judy in the school’s musical production of ‘9 to 5’.

Up onstage Cloutier “felt good” about the song. She explained, “I was a little nervous when the lights were down because you could see all the people in the audience, but then the lights came up and everyone disappeared and I felt better”. 

This, not being Cloutier’s first solo performance onstage, she explained that she wasn’t as nervous as she was when she auditioned for a solo in sophomore year; However, in the middle of the song she was nervous about whether or not she was showing enough emotion. The song portrays the character Anya from the musical Anastasia who is an orphan in Russia. She sings the song about how she was found on the side of a road. She explains through song the loneliness she has had to endure to be where she is today. It is a very emotional part of the show and Cloutier was up to the challenge. 

Because Cloutier plans on going into Broadway and theatre production as a career, her ambition is high. She doesn’t stray from songs and performances that pose a challenge to her, she views difficult songs as a chance to develop her skills. However, no matter how hard a piece is, it’s a little easier when it’s a song she loves. “I like singing songs that make the singer and the audience feel something.” She explains that this is the reason she loves lyrical dance as well. 

Cloutier chose this song because ever since the musical Anastasia came out she has loved the music and the story. She goes into detail saying that “… getting to do something [Christy Altomare] originated was really special.” Cloutier has been idolizing Altomare since the first time she saw the show, and says that singing this song is the closest she’ll get to playing Anya. Cloutier explained that Altomare is the person she aspires to be, both onstage and off. “She’s just such an amazing person”. 

Cloutier thinks that she did well in her performance. Although she’s been practicing this song since sophomore year she thinks that she would have benefited from more rehearsal time, but she “…can’t complain.” She hopes that this performance will open opportunities outside of school to better establish herself in the theatre community.