Doug Grimm joined the youth choir in his hometown of Savannah, Ga., at the age of 7, and he has been singing ever since. In 2018 he graduated from Brevard High School and was awarded a Connestee Falls scholarship by the Transylvania County School Department. Now he is majoring in vocal performance and arts administration at UNC Greensboro.
The Grimm family moved to Brevard five years ago when Doug’s mother, Barbara, took the job of school director at Brevard Academy. Grimm did not welcome the move to Brevard; he was slated to attend an arts magnet school in Savannah and he feared he would not find the same level of excellence in music here.
He soon realized that he was wrong. The music scene in Brevard allowed Grimm to flourish by offering him many more chances to perform than he might have had in Savannah. He was often on stage with the Brevard High School Choir, the Brevard Choral Society and the St. Philip’s Church choir. In addition, his high school voice teacher Amanda Horton and Choral Society director Bart Gilleland convinced him to continue singing and to pursue a professional career in this very difficult field. With their encouragement, he has come to believe that he has the discipline and drive to be successful.
Grimm was introduced to music at an early age in a family which appreciates all kinds of music. He remembers listening to “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni” on records and watching performances on videos. His father, William, is also a singer with the Brevard Choral Society, and two of his siblings, his brother Caleb and his sister Maggie, played trumpet and flute, respectively. Doug, however, is the only one of the children who has continued to pursue his interest in music.
Grimm’s family experiences led him not only to decide, at the age of 16, that he wants to be an opera singer instead of a marine biologist, but also to realize that he wants to help expand the public’s knowledge and appreciation of opera. Grimm hopes to work with opera companies in administration, specifically in development and marketing. His aim is to introduce more people to the experience of opera and to teach children especially about its magic.
He is very enthusiastic about Metropolitan Opera performances being shown in movie theatres, viewing it as a great outreach effort. He admits to watching the performances “the way some people watch sports.”
Grimm enjoys UNC-Greensboro. He has an “amazing” voice instructor, and all the students are both passionate about music and professional in their approach. As part of his music curriculum, he is studying German and will also take Italian and French. His goal is to live in Manhattan and to sing and work in development at the Metropolitan Opera.
He acknowledges, however, that he loves Brevard and its beauty, and that he got a good education at Brevard High School. He also noted that many times he has kayaked down the French Broad Riversinging at the top of his voice.
Grimm has a message for the scholarship program’s volunteers and contributors: “Keep donating and making opportunities for people like me. It is phenomenal. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity you helped make possible.”