Worcester’s Trina Vargas Carries on Tradition of Song and Stage
Friday, January 18, 2013
"It’s my zen,” Vargas explains. “My happy place. I could sing a song 100 times and always find something new to experience or try."
Indeed, singing and showmanship come naturally to her. Vargas claims that she learned how to sing before she could even form sentences. Her powerful pipes have been heard singing the National Anthem live at NASCAR races, Red Sox games, and oddly enough, even new Price Choppers.
"I’m working on the Patriots and Celtics," she jokes.
Other than singing the National Anthem, a song all good American singers must tackle, she can be heard performing a wide-array of different styles and genres of music.
"I love ballads, old standards or new age,” Vargas says of her song choices. “They always come from the gut and I love to connect to a piece. Country music is good for that. My set lists usually come from what I love. They can be oldies, pop, jazz—whatever moves me."
Some of the songs in her repertoire include original, and often melodic and emotional versions of: The Beatles' "Hey Jude"; Sublime's "What I Got"; Coldplay's "The Scientist"; Frank Sinatra's "Mistletoe and Holly"; Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel"; Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man"; and U2's "With or Without You."
Vargas performs at venues as wide-ranging as country clubs, restaurants, weddings, corporate events, and assisted-living facilities. Most commonly, you can see her at Nick's in Worcester. She has been playing there for the last three years with the Bobby Gadoury Trio. Now, she makes appearances with a number of different musicians including Jodi Stevens and Tom Spears.
However, it is not simple singing that interests Vargas, but theater and acting as well. In practicing both crafts, she carries on a proud family tradition. Her mother played piano and sang. Her grandmother was musical prodigy, playing in Worcester and all over the greater Boston area. Her great-grandmother was an opera singer.
When Vargas was a child, her family's love of music was clear to her, and she knew very early on in her childhood she had the same interests.
"My grandparents literally took my youngest brother and I out to jazz restaurants for dinner where upon my grandmother would get on the piano bench and have me sing for everyone at age 5,” she recalls. “I usually sang ‘Alice Blue Gown’ or ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’
"At that young age of 5 all I knew was everyone loved hearing music. Music is just good for the soul. Whether you listen to it, or sing it, it has the ability to just grab you and move you."
This soon snowballed into music theater camps, voice lessons, piano lessons, and drama club. She started auditioning for musicals at just eight years old. She decided to major in musical theatre at the Hartt School Music in Hartford, CT. This is where, she explains, she had her "A-Ha" moment, and found her voice during her sophomore year.
Of the day that it all came together, Vargas recollects, "All of your preparation and hard effort just clicks and you find your voice. I will never forget that day. Connecting to a song and making it your own is one of the most fulfilling things in the entire world for me. I’ve never known anything else."
Immediately after graduating college she moved out to Sherman Oaks, California where she made appearances on the Chelsea Handler Show and General Hospital.
Upon returning to the east coast—in addition to now performing all over the greater Boston area—Vargas currently teaches voice and piano at Wachusett Regional High School. She also teaches ZUMBA, and runs her own company with Arbonne International.
Despite the success she has already had, she still dreams big. Her ultimate goal is to play Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage National Tour. She plans to try out for this part once again very soon. It has been a dream of hers to perform at Walt Disney World and on cruise ships since she was 12. She also has it in the works to become a part of a wedding band.
But no matter where or for whom she is performing, Trina Vargas always has the same thing in mind for the listening audience.
"If they’re a musician I want it to inspire them. For everyone else, I want to make them feel good – to take a bad day for them and make it better just by singing a song. Get up and dance, whether it’s a slow song or fast song – when people do that, I am the happiest.”
That happiness is something she hopes to impart upon others. What Vargas asks of her audiences is simple: “Just have fun and enjoy yourself."
To learn more about Trina Vargas or to hear music, visit her website or find her on Facebook.
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