Polina’s Performing Spark of Genius Lights up the Stage

“I’ve been performing all my life. Ever since I could walk and talk, I’ve been acting, singing, and dancing,” says Polina ’29.

“When we were little, my older sister, Nika ’25, and I would perform skits and put on plays in our living room. By the time I was six or seven, my mother saw how singing made me so happy. That’s when I began working with coaches and teachers and since that time, my singing has gotten stronger and stronger over the years.”

Stronger, indeed! Polina has been a member of the National Children’s Chorus for the last two years. A mezzo-soprano with an impressive vocal range — from tenor/alto to soprano able to reach some Mariah Carey-level notes — she is in the Chorus’ New York City Senior Division. With over 1,000 students based in major cities across the U.S., the Chorus works with leading conductors and orchestras, and performs in iconic venues, including Lincoln Center, where Polina and her fellow singers recently returned to the stage for the first live performance since the pandemic began. 

After singing on Zoom for so long, it was a wonderful evening, made even more so by a moving tribute to Ukraine. The Grammy Award-winning Chorus sang along with the Ukrainian Children’s Chorus in Kharkiv, who learned and recorded the same song while their country was under siege. Polina explains, “Their video was projected on a large screen above the stage and we stood under it, singing together. It was a very special moment.”

Each week, Polina participates in a two-hour Chorus class to rehearse and for musicianship study, in addition to the time she dedicates to working with vocal and acting coaches, and practicing after school. A veteran of musical productions at the YMCA, Polina is also auditioning for different performance opportunities, working toward becoming a professional one day. While dedicated to her craft, she also takes swimming and Russian classes after school. All in all, she is quite busy!

Polina’s Dwight journey began in our Preschool 2s program, and since then she enjoyed participating in the Timothy House Choir and took singing lessons with a Dwight Music Conservatory teacher along the way. 

Asked what she loves about singing, Polina explains, “I love that you can do so many different things with singing; it’s entirely personal. You can choose what you want to sing, in whatever key and whatever pitch you’d like. You can sing your own songs. It’s completely different for everyone. You can’t go wrong with whatever you do with it — there is no wrong in singing.” Well said!

In the classroom, Polina is passionate about math and can’t wait to learn more advanced levels in Middle and Upper School. The same is true for visual arts, but before she makes the leap into sixth grade, Polina has an exciting summer ahead. She will be touring Spain with the Chorus, where her performing spark of genius will no doubt shine brightly!