City native returns to sing at area church

Amy Peck will give a vocal performance with piano accompaniment by Gary Boerckel at 7 p.m. tonight at First United Methodist Church, 604 Market St.

Peck, a Williamsport native, is a senior at Eastern University, Wayne, who is studying vocal performance. She said she has done many recitals in the community every year, but this will be the first time she is performing without other singers.

The repertoire for the evening will include works by Mozart, Donizetti, Strauss, Barber and others.

Peck said she began singing in the area in 2005, while still in high school. She started singing in a choir led by Boerckel and when she wanted to do the New Year recital, she immediately thought of him.

“I emailed him and I said I need a pianist and do you know anyone and he said he would do it because I have given my time to him,” Peck said. “I’m so honored that he will play for me. He’s such a great musician.”

Boerckel retired this year after 33 years of service as a piano and music history teacher at Lycoming College. He also is a choir director at St. Boniface Church and Boerckel said Peck has sung with his choir on a number of occasions, including a performance at the Cathedral in Scranton.

“I know her voice, it’s a very nice voice,” Boerckel said. “So, when she asked if I would do it, I was happy to … She is a very skilled singer with a lovely voice.”

Boerckel said when a singer is pursuing a music major in college, they are expected to master a variety of things, including language. He said during the New Year recital, Peck will perform songs in Italian, German and English and pieces from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as tunes from musicals.

“I know that she will sing with style and with a lovely sound and I’m sure the audience will be very favorably impressed by her training in all of these different genres and styles.”

In 2010, Peck recorded an album of church hymns called Soli Deo Gloria. She credits her musical success to the opportunities her parents provided for her. They had her take piano lessons in elementary school and violin lessons in middle school.

Peck said most vocal teachers and coaches wouldn’t take on new students until they were 13 years old, and that is when she began vocal lessons.

“I was so desperate to learn singing and no one would teach me (before I was 13) and that inspired me to start my own studio,” Peck said of the studio she runs in Philadelphia. “I’ll stay in the Philly area because I started teaching little kids to sing. My piano studio has grown to about 30 students weekly.”

For Peck, there never was any other option for her besides pursuing her singing and musical career. She said she was doing concerts almost every week while she was still in high school. She also led worship services, performed in school musicals and performed in the Community Theater League musicals.

“It was my life. It wasn’t really an option,” Peck said. “I love doing it. It’s so interesting. I love the body and how it works. I learned how music effects people through Christian music. (It is) what I have been called to do and what I’m gifted with.”

Peck said she is looking forward to sharing what she has learned at college with the audience at the recital at St. Boniface, where she is a member, and feels that her senior year has been the most beneficial year for her as she grew in her vocal training.

She believes that being a Christian has helped her in her musical career and it has been her duty in life to work at making her music great.

“I work on my acting, my music theory, to make myself the best musician I can be,” she said. “It’s really important to the success of my career and the impact of my music.”

The New Year recital is free and open to the public.

Downloadable tracks by Amy Peck from her album Soli Deo Gloria are available on iTunes.