Hope Sch­nei­der

Grand Magazine - - HOME DÉCOR - BY BRIAN WIL­LIAMS PHOTO BY ALISHA TOWNSEND

As she talks over the phone about the po­ten­tial of a singing ca­reer that could see her per­form­ing on big stages in big cities, Hope Sch­nei­der is gaz­ing out the win­dow at a much dif­fer­ent au­di­ence.

A don­key, a llama, two cows, one full-size horse and a bunch of minia­ture ones, goats, two mules . . .

While the menagerie of an­i­mals is a hobby op­er­a­tion on her fam­ily’s property near Rock­ton – her mom likes to res­cue an­i­mals and give them a nice place to live out their days – lately the pets have been help­ing keep coy­otes away.

This fall Sch­nei­der, 20, be­gins her sec­ond year of mu­sic stud­ies at West­ern Univer­sity in London.

“I have al­ways loved singing,” she says. When she was really young she wanted to go into coun­try mu­sic, but she says she’s out­grown that genre, hav­ing fallen in love with opera.

Her fam­ily signed her up for clas­si­cal lessons dur­ing the coun­try phase and she started tak­ing mu­sic se­ri­ously in Grade 9. “From then on, I ab­so­lutely adored clas­si­cal mu­sic.”

Work­ing with a teacher at the Beck­ett School at Lau­rier, she moved through the lev­els of Royal Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic ex­ams, stop­ping af­ter achiev­ing her Grade 8 diploma be­cause she had at­tained her goal of been ac­cepted into univer­sity.

Along the way she also en­joyed four years of Rock­ton Din­ner The­atre, and she com­peted in the Ki­wa­nis Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, which led to per­form­ing three times at the pro­vin­cial level.

There was also the role of Dorothy in a high school mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion of “The Wiz­ard of Oz” at Glen­view in Cam­bridge, but she says her most sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mance was about two years ago at the Mu­sic Room in Water­loo. Sch­nei­der and other pro­vin­cial nom­i­nees from the Kitch­ener-Water­loo Ki­wa­nis Mu­sic Fes­ti­val had been in­vited there to per­form.

“A very unique and amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Sch­nei­der says. “That’s prob­a­bly the coolest thing that I can say I’ve done (mu­si­cally).”

She re­mem­bers Jan and Jean Narve­son, own­ers of the home where the Mu­sic Room is lo­cated, as be­ing gra­cious hosts, pro­vid­ing cook­ies and juice for the young per­form­ers.

The in­ti­mate con­cert hall left a big im­pres­sion.“I’ve never stood so close to an au­di­ence in my en­tire life. I thought I was prac­ti­cally spit­ting on them.”

The Mu­sic Room has hosted con­certs by the big­gest names in clas­si­cal mu­sic so it won’t hurt to have that per­for­mance on her re­sume given the ca­reer path she is on.

“I would love to get as many op­er­atic or mu­si­cal the­atre roles as pos­si­ble just to get out and per­form and have that ex­po­sure and those ex­pe­ri­ences,” Sch­nei­der says.

She also an­tic­i­pates teach­ing and ad­ju­di­cat­ing once her stud­ies at West­ern are done.

As for modelling, this is her sec­ond time in Grand as she graced our Style pages ex­actly three years ago. And she be­came a bleach blond in 2016 as a model at the OMC Hair­world Championship in Korea.

Along with be­ing on the ros­ter at Ex­pres­sions Model and Tal­ent Agency in Cam­bridge, Sch­nei­der also says she signed on last fall with Toronto-based agency Next Canada. Given her univer­sity sched­ule, that hasn’t re­sulted in a lot of work yet, but she did par­tic­i­pate in a mu­sic video for artist Est-Her that in­volved hav­ing a boa con­stric­tor around her neck, not to men­tion a hearse and burn­ing crosses. “I was like, ‘What is this? Am I join­ing a cult?’ ”

Even though it was crazy and turned out well, it makes go­ing home to the farm – where all the neigh­bours are rel­a­tives – that much more en­joy­able.

She also has an­other rea­son to stay con­nected to her roots. She was Miss Teen On­tario in 2013, but she still hopes one day to be the am­bas­sador of the Rock­ton World’s Fair, a ti­tle pre­vi­ously held by her mom and aunts.

Be­ing am­bas­sador would be a good way to stay con­nected to a com­mu­nity she loves.

“I think my heart be­longs in the coun­try,” Sch­nei­der says. “It’s nice be­cause I get to go visit Toronto and I live in London dur­ing the school year, but there’s really no other feel­ing like be­ing at home.”

Af­ter a long day of shoot­ing, Hope Sch­nei­der re­laxes in a teak club chair, $1,999; with a knit throw, $225; and knit pil­low, $79.WHERE TO GET IT: PAGE 182

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