Magazine Feature

Musical theater major already a regular on local stages

Faith Goins performs her senior recital May 22 at the Newman Center. Photo courtesy of Faith Goins

Finding a job after graduation has never been a worry for senior Faith Goins. The voice major will walk in the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on the morning of June 8, and that night she’ll go on stage at the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton as a member of the tribe in the classic ’60s musical “Hair.”

It’s one of several local productions in which Goins has appeared while studying at DU; others include “Hairspray” at the Arvada Center, “The Color Purple” at the Aurora Fox and “The Wiz” at Dayton St. Theatre in Aurora. It was in the latter performance, she says, that she began to realize the transformative power of live theater.

“A few victims of the [Aurora theater] shooting came to see the show, and they said, ‘That was the first time I felt joy,’ ‘That’s the first time I smiled in a while’ — it was amazing,” she says. “What we do can really impact people’s lives. It’s not just for fun or wanting to be a star.”

Raised in Aurora, where her parents are pastors at Jireh Advancing Kingdom Ministries, Goins has made a life out of singing, dancing and performing. She’s on the Denver Nuggets’ “Rocky’s Super Squad,” which hypes up the crowd during home games; she teaches gospel and praise dance at local churches; and she is a gymnastics coach for the University of Denver squad.

She also is the first woman of color to receive a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance with an emphasis in music theater from DU, a distinction she calls “an honor.” Music, she says, saved her life when she was growing up in a low-income neighborhood with a high crime rate.

“I was very close to going down the wrong path, picking the wrong friends, doing the wrong things,” she says, “and then I blew my knees out doing gymnastics.”

After rehabilitation, Goins discovered her high school theater department, where the directors “were so enlightening and engaging and just loved what they were doing, so it saved me from doing the wrong things,” she says. “It gave me something else to do.”

Still, when Goins first came to DU on a Daniels Scholarship, she found herself frustrated by her lack of musical knowledge compared to her fellow students.

“She grew up mostly singing in church and some in high school, so she had a tiny, tiny little pure voice when I first heard her audition,” says Cathy Kasch, a Lamont School of Music voice teacher who has mentored Goins throughout her time at DU. “But I could tell that she had a special spark of something — that ‘it factor,’ if you will. And that was one reason why I was interested in working with her.”

As a musical theater major, Goins takes classes both in the theater department and in the Lamont School of Music. She appeared in student musicals “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Side Show,” in addition to her professional work. She has more shows booked after graduation, as well as an internship offer from a theatrical production company in New York. She also wants to try her hand at TV and film acting.

“I don’t know where I’ll go, but I know its going to be great wherever it is,” she says. “I will see where God takes me.”

Faith Goins gives her senior recital, “A Journey Through African-American Musical Theater,” at 7:30 p.m. May 22 in Hamilton Recital Hall in the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Jane Goins says:

    What can I say. I’m so proud of my daughter, Faith! What a great task God has allowed her undertake. Faith you have done an absolute wonderful job at DU. WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU! LOVE YOU!!!

  2. Thank you for an insprational article! Facebook loves it!

  3. Janice Hale Richardson says:

    Faith we are so proud of you!!! We love you so much! You will go far and God is going to bless you in your career! Keep up the good work! We are behind you all the way! You go girl!!!!!!

  4. Helen Portlock/Helens Cookies & Cakes says:

    Inspirational read. Faith didn’t give up when obstacles presented themselves. Your Grandfather Willie Hale is looking down with a big smile “Doll!” :)

  5. Donella Iverson says:

    So proud of my former student, Faith Angelise Goins, for all her accomplishments already!! I am so proud of you Faith!!!!! You have come so far from your high school days in Trojanaires, making the Colorado All-State Choir, and all your high school musicals and plays!!! You have such an amazing heart, and are a true inspiration to many!! :)

  6. Sue Pomranka says:

    Excellent article. I sent it to my granddaughter who goes to high school in Colorado and is interested in musical theater.

  7. Michelle Alexander says:

    Awesome Accomplishment, Faith. It has been a privilege watching u grow over the years, I’m honored to know such an inspirational Woman of God. You haven’t seen anything yet, the best is yet to come. GOD BLESS U!

  8. Dr. Verdale Goins says:

    Congratulations on my baby daughter Faith being the firstAfrican American to graduate from DU’s Music Department on June 8th and her recital at the Lamont School of Music Newman Center 7pm on May 22nd. She has blessed the Colorado Community with Acting, Gymnastics, dancing including Worship dancing, Singing and Ministry. Luv U Much!!!

  9. Congrats little sister, this is an amazing accomplishment!

  10. Baby Sis! I am so proud of the beautiful women you have become. You continue doing what you are doing and putting God first in all things. I love you so much & am here for you always.

  11. It’s great to be updated on the achievements of my soul twin, the amazing Faith Angelise Goins. Keep it up! I can’t wait until our paths collide again ;-)

  12. Continue to be a vehicle for God’s creativity, everything will fall in place. Love you!

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