Artist of the Week: Anya Campbell


Artist of the Week: Anya Campbell

April 24, 2024

If you were at Warwick Valley Middle School last week for the Drama Club’s production of The Little Mermaid, then you already know who Anya Campbell is. The eighth grader performed the lead role of Ariel in the musical. Her hard work and preparation for the role have earned her universally glowing reviews, but Anya doesn’t look at her hours of dedicated practice as “hard work,” per se. More so, she relished the opportunities to collaborate with her peers in the arts!

“It’s been super-fun playing Ariel, especially because I get to have so many more rehearsals,” Anya said. “It just means I get to hang out with all my other music friends, who tend to be in drama club too.”

Anya’s love of music and ensemble performing comes from growing up surrounded by performing musicians. She shared that her family has been her primary source of inspiration. Her mom is an experienced gigging jazz artist, and both her mom and stepdad have plenty of stage experience. Her brother, Jonah (Class of `23), is currently studying music production at SUNY Purchase.

“My parents have both always influenced me to do musical stuff. I remember, when I was a kid, I loved making up my own songs. I may not be the best songwriter, but I really enjoy singing,” Anya said with a laugh. “I’m also in the honors chorus, which is really fun because it’s that same group of music friends. We kind of just follow each other around to the same clubs and extracurriculars!”

Anya’s family moved to Warwick Valley from Greenwood Lake just before Anya’s third grade year, and they encouraged her to join the Park Avenue Drama Club straight away. During her two years at Park Avenue, Anya landed roles in both The Jungle Book and Aladdin. Between her third and fourth grade years, she also chose to take up a musical instrument.  

“I guess it’s just been ingrained in me, it’s in my blood to do music,” said Anya, “and in fourth grade I just knew I wanted to play upright bass.”

Anya’s commitment to musical excellence is evident in the practice regimen she maintains. Besides in-school practices, she takes private bass lessons with Timothy Leonard (Class of `22), son of WVHS music teacher Elissa Maynard. She also studies with a private vocal coach, which really helped her prepare for The Little Mermaid. Anya is typically an alto, and knew it would be a challenge to take on a role featuring songs that reside in a decidedly soprano stratosphere.  

“Working with my voice teacher outside of school, I’ve just really liked testing my range,” said Anya. “Trying to expand my vocal ability and sing these higher octave songs – higher than I normally would – it’s just been really fun.”

All the hard work that Anya put into bringing Ariel to the stage came during a particularly busy period in her middle school music career. Anya is also an active member of the WVMS Honors Chorus, the WVMS Orchestra, and rocks the electric bass in the WVMS Guitar Club.

On top of that, Anya also prepared for, auditioned for, and was selected to the 2024 Orange County Music Educators Association Junior High All-County Ensemble, a program she has been a part of every year since sixth grade! But wait, there’s more! Anya is also preparing her solo, scales and sight reading skills for the upcoming New York State School Music Association’s spring auditions.

With all of these outstanding accomplishments, Anya is certainly hitting a high note this spring. Ever the go-getter though, she’s already got her sights set on the new musical opportunities waiting for her at the high school next year.

“I auditioned in February – or maybe it was March – for the high school Chamber Orchestra and got in, so I’m really excited to do that,” said Anya. “And I put chorus down as one of my elective choices, so hopefully I can do that too. My brother was in [Meistersingers] and I already love Ms. Hanson from doing drama club, so fingers crossed!”

Anya’s love of both performance and practice has put her atop a rising tide of musical success that’s carried her from Park Avenue through WVMS. Her turn to “explore that shore up above” at the high school is coming up quickly enough, and we can’t wait to see what this talented performer has in store. Of course, we know that she’ll love being a part of that world.


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