Meet Claire McCahan


Claire McCahan sits on the stage of the Music Theatre in the Warner Imig Music Building

Claire McCahan is a musician, mountain climber, and a Russian prince – in the University of Colorado Boulder’s fall production of Johann Strauss’ comedic opera, Die Fledermaus.

But while the director needs her to act manic, mean, and “done with everything” on stage, McCahan herself is a lively and amicable 27-year-old graduate student. She sits here on the stage of the Music Theatre in the Warner Imig Music Building, where rehearsals currently take place.

A musician from a young age, McCahan grew up in New Hampshire, studying opera from a neighbor and performing in local music theater. Yet she also pursued physics in her undergraduate studies and had to choose music over science by graduation.

After taking time away from music for several years to climb mountains in Montana and live life outside of an academic context, McCahan feels “very lucky to be here” in Boulder, Colorado.

“If I can become successful enough that I get to travel the world singing, then that’s what I want to do. I want to have a life where I do what I love and I’m outside. And I hope I can make that happen.”



  1. This is a very nice picture and profile. I am a total layperson when it comes to photography, but I think that the subject, Claire, fits nicely in the picture. The picture looks well-focused/crisp and Claire stands out nicely from the background. The written profile fits with the background of the picture well too, and you segued nicely into information about Claire that is not apparent from the picture. My only suggestion about the picture would be to maybe have the piano in the background appear in a more interesting orientation with respect to Claire, maybe so that you could see the keys, but you can still tell that it’s a piano and it’s more important to have a good shot of the subject! Also, in the caption, mostly like the sentence about studying physics as an undergraduate. It contributes another dimension of depth to the subject and fits in with the narrative of how Claire got to where she is, but I also think it feels a little out of place and calls out for more elaboration. But maybe that’s because I’m also a physicist and want to hear more about physics, haha. I don’t think I have anything else to say because this was very well done!


  2. You did a good job posing your subject and putting her at east – you’ve got an advantage there, because she obviously trained to be in the spotlight. The background is a little distracting, both the light above her head and the things growing out of her head. It looks like one is a pencil stashed in her ear, which would be fine, but the viewer then equates it with the other things coming out of the other side of her head and wonders what kind of contraption that is. I also think that getting some light into her eyes, either by posing her differently or finding a light source or something to reflect light onto her fact, would have been helpful. That said, I like the low angle you’ve used and the way you’ve posed her, so you’ve got some difficult trade offs here. See D2L for your grade.


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