By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer
Soprano Rochelle Ellis has many roles: wife, mother, faculty member, visiting artist at New Brunswick, N.J., schools, soloist and bad-weather schlepper of her son on his newspaper route.
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"I always gravitated toward singing, and I love to perform," she says. Ellis sang in high school and credits her church choir with preparing and influencing her. She went to college having done "The Messiah," Beethoven's ninth symphony and other quality pieces. Ellis performed with the municipal opera and liked musicals, but says her voice isn't suited for the Broadway style of singing and she can't dance. "Don't ask me," she laughs.
Ellis decided to go into music during her senior year of high school in St. Louis, Mo., but waited. She earned her bachelor of music education from University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and put a professional singing career on hold. She wasn't ready, vocally or mentally, for the abuse and says she didn't have the drive for it.