Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017 - Payton Hausauer
On the wall as you enter Payton’s room, hangs a picture that serves as a reminder. The bold letters say, “Be Brave,” followed by her confirmation verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Payton does her best to live her life with passion and purpose. She is a junior at Fargo South High School. She adores her family and friends and spends most of her free time singing and performing in musical theatre. Her favorite part of her daily routine is helping teach the woman’s choir, at her school. Payton’s Music Education platform is her daily passion.
Payton auditioned for her first choir when she was six years old. Since then, she has developed a diverse background in performing arts. Her experience includes musical theatre, lead vocals in a band, state music contests, state choir, competitive figure skating, dance and pageants. Payton has participated in several musicals in the past few years. Last year, Payton was recognized as, The Outstanding Soloist in Eastern North Dakota, at Music Contest. She has been delighted to have the opportunity to work with the amazing mentors at her school, as well as at the Minnesota Opera and Broadway Professionals, through Open Jar Workshop.
It was at an Open Jar Workshop, where Jeff Whiting shared his story of playing the lead role in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, on Broadway. He tearfully recalled being impressed with his rendition of the character. Following the show, a young boy in the audience reached out to him and Jeff noticed that the boy had a disabled arm. “We did it!” the boy said. This encounter caused a shift in the way Jeff saw his role as an actor. It was no longer about him doing an amazing job, but rather it was about telling a character’s story that needed to be told.
Payton believes music and the performing arts is a profoundly human experience. It not only enriches our lives, but it connects us to one another through our human experience. She feels that music in our schools is often undervalued. Funding for music programs is often limited when finances are not there. Payton wants to challenge people to see music education not only as something that enriches our lives, but improves the skills necessary for school success.
In the future, Payton hopes to become more involved in music advocacy. She wants to expand her partnership with The North Dakota Music Educators to support community and school based music education. Her intention is to highlight the need for quality music opportunities in rural and low-income areas. After graduation, she plans to attend a college with an outstanding Music Education Program and eventually work on her doctorate. Ultimately, she aspires to be the inspiration for young people that her music teachers have been to her.
Photos by Ludvik Herrera © 2017. All Rights Reserved.