“She carries herself like a professional,” Reynolds’ chorus teacher and A Cappella advisor, Michael Martinez said.
Manning is talented in many different aspects of performing. Many say that she’s a triple threat, due to her theatrical talents. She doesn’t hold back, completely engulfing herself into the character she’s cast as. Drama teacher Linda Moody said Manning’s best quality is her range of ability.
“She can dance, she can sing, and she can act,” Moody said.
As a junior, Manning auditioned for the spring production of “Hairspray” and got a callback to play the role of Little Inez, a dancer who wants to appear on television. Much to her surprise, Manning was cast as the role of Amber Von Tussel, a spoiled rich girl, who plays a big role in the production.
“I’m biracial, so I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be able to play,” Manning said, “Then the list came up after we did call backs, and I saw that I was Amber, and I was like ‘Oh, well this is awesome.’”
Manning has a presence everywhere she goes, whether it’s on a stage or even just in a classroom.
“She commands the stage with her presence and even off the stage,” Martinez said. “When she walks into a room, everyone notices.”
Manning plans to major in vocal performances in college, but she hasn’t made up her mind about where she wants to go to school. Her top three choices are Oberlin Conservatory, New York University and Boston University. She also has applied to the School of the Arts and Temple University.
Manning has been singing in A Cappella for her four years at Reynolds and has proved her leadership abilities to her teachers, coaches and classmates. Manning is director of X, one of three A Cappella groups at Reynolds, and is captain of the girls’ swim team.
Martinez also spoke highly of Manning’s leadership.
“She expects a lot from her peers as a student director, and she can also be very compassionate.” Martinez said.
“She is usually one of the first one to get the dances right, and people will follow those who are confident and those who know what they’re doing, so the rest of the ensemble will look to her and follow what she is doing,” Moody said.
Photo provided by Grace Manning