Reporter Raymond Riley, a student as Scenica Memoria, wrote a lovely profile of Miss Hayes, who was completing her student teaching there.
The article is printed below, and can be found on the Crusader News site.
by Raymond Riley
Upon first meeting Miss Amy Hayes most people recognize her warm smile, friendliness and her upbeat attitude, but they can’t pull out her other talent. She has been singing opera for years, and she uses her talents to co-run Intimate Opera, a local opera company.
She attended Little Flower and Holy Spirit for grade school. Afterward she went on to Roncalli high school. Growing up on the east side of Indianapolis and attending Catholic schools, she was familiar with Scecina. Now, after a lot of lobbying, she is student teaching at Scecina under the watchful eye of Mrs. Pat Tucker.
“I sang for people’s weddings,” said Miss Amy Hayes. “They said ‘Oh you have a classical sounding voice,’ so I started singing opera when I was 14 and I never stopped.”
Hayes wanted to change the stigma that opera usually doesn’t come up in conversation. It’s a growing theme in the music industry, but it doesn’t often make headlines in the news.
Hayes is also the co-founder of an opera company in Indianapolis called Intimate Opera. Her goal is for patrons to be able to enjoy an operatic show for the price of a movie ticket and about the length of a movie. She wants to have small audiences in a small venue downtown so there can be more of a connection between the performers and the audience. This way opera fans that are intimidated by the big expensive shows will be able to go to an inexpensive show that is local and personal. The company hopes to have its first production in either September or August.
Hayes grew up in a music loving family. Her family supported her singing and loved to listen to her renditions of various songs. The only close relative that she knew of that was involved in opera was her aunt. Although her aunt never completely pursued a musical career, she helped to inspire Hayes to pursue it for herself.
“I never really won competitions or got the lead part in the play,” Hayes said. “But I kept at it, and things finally started to happen.”
Hayes had been teaching voice and piano lessons, and then she got a scholarship to DePauw University through her singing. After substitute teaching for a couple of years, during college, she discovered that she really enjoyed teaching. She went to DePauw University, and took pedagogy classes to learn how to teach. Now she is finishing up her master’s degree at Marian University.
She started her teaching at Southport middle school, but she didn’t think middle school was the right fit for her, so she came to Scecina. Many students heard about her singing and it quickly became a popular request.
“Miss Hayes substituted for our eighth-period English class once,” sophomore Grace Downs said. “We begged her to sing opera because we had heard about it a lot. It was awesome. We were literally in awe because we had never heard opera like that. She is truly very talented.”
Hayes said she loves being in school because she loves to learn. And she loves talking to people and learning from them. She said she learns from her students all the time. She hopes to become a high school teacher someday.
Her students really appreciate the effort that she puts into teaching.
“Miss Hayes is always very nice and caring in and out of the classroom,” freshman Katie Suiters said. “She really loves what she does and it shows.”
In the future Hayes hopes to become a high school English teacher. She said she likes to teach the freshman, and hopes to teach at that grade level as well.