It was the Talent Award Program that convinced Zachary Chan ’22 to become a student at Albright College.
The program, formerly known as the Creative Promise Program, awards grants to talented students who agree to actively participate in some way in the creative arts at Albright. Chan, who started at Albright as a history major but changed to theatre and hopes to pursue a career in opera, was offered a grant to participate in the college’s choral program.
“I love to sing, and I knew Albright’s choral program was strong, and then I found out I was being offered a scholarship to sing in the choirs,” Chan said. I couldn’t believe I was going to get paid to sing. That made Albright a school I couldn’t really turn down.”
He has no regrets about his decision to enroll or doubts about changing his major and long-time career aspirations.
“I wanted to teach history since I was in middle school,” Chan said. “But then I got to Albright and realized I had more interest in theatre than in teaching. I got opportunities to act, and direct, and really get involved. I hadn’t been here long before I knew that Albright was going to be my home.”
Chan credits Jefferey Lentz, M.M., senior artist in residence and music department chair, for helping him walk through his decision to change majors. Lentz is himself an Albright College class of 1985 graduate.
“We talked about it a lot, because to tell you the truth, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Chan explained. “Jeff recognized how much I love theatre and challenged me to consider making the change. That empowered my decision to fully commit to the theatre program, and looking back, it seems like a no-brainer. I have a story to tell, and I want to use my voice to tell that story.”
Chan’s talent, enthusiasm, and hard work has gotten him noticed outside of Albright College as well as on campus.
Serving as Conducting Scholar for the Reading Choral Society during the 2021-22 academic year, he also completed a summer internship as a performer and musician at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading.
“That internship was so much fun and allowed me to gain experience in theatre in a hotel setting,” Chan said.
Having grown up in Quakertown, Chan plans to remain in Reading after he graduates. He hopes to continue his involvement with the Reading Choral Society and explore opportunities with other arts organizations in the Reading area. He’ll continue working with his voice teachers, and eventually plans to go to graduate school for opera. One day, Chan would like to open his own voice studio.
“One step at a time,” he said. “I’ve got to work on getting my student loans paid off, and I’m anxious to see what other opportunities there might be for me in Reading.”
As he prepares to graduate, Chan reflected on the opportunities he’s had as an Albright student. “I’ve been able to act, direct, sing in various groups, help with production, run rehearsals, and do a whole lot of collaborating with others,” Chan said. “I can’t imagine having had all those opportunities anywhere else. I genuinely believe if I was not at Albright, I’d be on a much different life journey. I’m just very grateful for how things have turned out.”