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Fearless Anastasia

Brigid Rupp began our interview with a chuckle and said, “I can’t sing for anything.” Her daughter Anastasia, on the other hand, has been singing and creating music for years. She has always exuded a unique sense of musical confidence. In 5th grade, friends from school were goofing around with Anastasia and said they’d give her five dollars to stand on a school cafeteria table and sing. To their surprise, she jumped up on the table, belted out a song, and received a round of applause. That same confidence lends itself to everyday life as well – Anastasia can look any adult in the eye and hold a conversation.

Much of this confidence can be attributed to Anastasia’s time in the ICC. Brigid recalled one of Anastasia’s first performances in Fountain Square, where she sang in front of nearly 200 people. Brigid remembered how nervous Anastasia was, and said “I really thought she was going to be ill.” Just a few short years later, Anastasia was beaming on stage at Carnegie Hall- one of the world’s premier concert venues. The contrast between the size of these events, along with the courage it took perform at them, are clear markers of Anastasia’s growth.

Anastasia has built many strong friendships during her time at the ICC. She has also learned how to effectively lead others. For example, when other kids argue, Ana can mediate and reconcile their differences through laughter. Brigid has also created long-lasting friendships through volunteerism. She believes that families benefit most from the ICC when they invest energy- which is why she joined the Parent’s Association Board. “Parents don’t realize how much work goes into this organization,” she said. After enough time working with the ICC, Brigid felt comfortable sending her 12-year-old to Europe for a month with them. This trust was evidence of Brigid’s own growth during her family’s time at the ICC.

One of Anastasia’s greatest musical accomplishment came when she applied to the international tour program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Academy. She applied thinking it was a long shot, as there were 2500 applicants and only 250 students selected. With such small odds, the family didn’t hold their breath. To their amazement- Anastasia was chosen. This was a moment when the Fountain Square performance seemed like a lifetime ago. That nervous girl had grown into an incredibly talented and brave young woman. A young woman who could sing at Carnegie Hall, and travel across Europe with a prestigious music program.

by Emma Ahlert

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