Dutchess County Executive's Arts Awards 2023

Rowan Parsaca

Youth with Exceptional Promise in the Arts

Rowan Parsaca is a freshman studying voice and music therapy at SUNY Potsdam. Originally from Beacon, NY, Rowan has been immersed in the arts her entire life. “My mother is an actress; she has been on Broadway; my dad worked in the technical aspect of theatre,” she says. “So growing up I was constantly performing and developed a love for the arts.”

During the 2022-2023 school year, when she was a senior at Beacon High School, she snagged the starring role of Eponine in the Beacon Players performance of Les Misérables. “It was my first time doing a Beacon Players show,” she says. Rowan’s rave reviews were one of the reasons she has won a 2023 Dutchess County Arts Award for Youth with Exceptional Promise in the Arts.

“It is so cool that somebody thought I did a good enough job to deserve something like this,” says Rowan.

Rowan, who works and performs regularly with local musicians, including Ron English and Hayden Wayne, has also been involved in several choirs. “I really like singing folk songs, particularly around a campfire. I love performing with my friends. So any song that my friend can pluck on a guitar and I can sing along with, that’s great,” she says. “But I’ve gained a new love for more classical styles since being at college.  I’m in an opera ensemble and we’re doing selected scenes from different operas like Carmen and The Pirates of Penzance.

The benefits of being involved in the arts are clear to Rowan. “Having access to art and to music and to performing can be an invaluable outlet. For your emotions, for creating bonds and friendships and just for being social. Especially as a young person, if you get the opportunity to work with music or with art in some way, do it. For me, it has been absolutely life changing.”

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