Cartelli Coach: The World is Her Oyster Now

Longmeadow’s Brynn Cartelli with coach Peter Thomsen, as he teaches her “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” the song Brynn performed on The Voice to reach the show’s finale. (Photo from Peter Thomsen)

LONGMEADOW, MA – While “Brynnions” anxiously awaited the results of Monday night’s The Voice finale to see whether or not Longmeadow 15-year-old Brynn Cartelli would be crowned champion and receive a recording contract, her local coach Peter Thomsen said win or lose, Cartelli’s future is bright.

Cartelli, who was one of four finalists on the NBC show, was a favorite by many to take home the Voice title on Tuesday (results were not final as of our publication time), following her Monday performance of “Walk My Way,” an original song, “Skyfall” by Adele, and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House with celebrity coach Kelly Clarkson.

Thomsen, who has been Cartelli’s voice teacher and artistic coach for the last four years, said he’s not surprised she’s made it to the end.
“She really deserves every bit of it,” said Thomsen, who served as the first coordinator of Music for Longmeadow Public Schools and helped the Longmeadow Music Dept. win three Grammy Awards from the National Association of Recording Artists during his tenure. “She is one of my better and more hard-working students, and she is so deserving of what is coming her way.”

Thomsen is no stranger to coaching stars. His former students include Staind’s Aaron Lewis, and actress/singer Meghann Fahy. He first met Cartelli when she came to Thomsen Music for piano lessons with Peter’s wife and partner, Abby. Later, Cartelli took singing lessons with Peter when she was in middle school, around the age of 11 or 12.

“Brynn has a passion for singing and writing, and what I’ve done with her is teach her good vocal technique,” Thomsen said. “She’s spent lots of time studying singers and figuring out her own sound, which is something a kid her age is never doing. I’m not surprised she’s made it this far on The Voice, because she’s done the essential part that so many young artists don’t do by finding her sound. She doesn’t sound like a 15 year old because she’s not like any other 15 year old.”

Thomsen said his advice to Brynn during the competition has been to “play your game” and “sing your song.”

“You create a story and you live in that story while bringing other people in there with you,” he said. “The rest is unimportant. Making music is about being a storyteller and giving others the opportunity to experience that story. That’s all it is.”

When asked if there’s another artist that reminds Thomsen of Cartelli, he was quick to say she is truly one of a kind.

“A lot of singers make little noises and whatnot that might have been considered flaws in the past,” Thomsen said. “Now, those noises give the singer character and interest. Brynn’s developed her voice so much that it has a lot of color and interest. It’s a beautiful voice – she invented it. Every voice is unique, and as a vocal coach it’s all about developing uniqueness for every voice and not refining it so it sounds like others. She’s done that.”

Along with her vocal talent, Thomsen said Cartelli is “very lovely, very intelligent, and organized.”

“She’s got everything going for her,” he said. “She’s got a supportive family, she writes wonderfully, and she’s got a lot of talent. It’s truly been a delight to work with her, and it’s a delight to know her.”

Whether she wins the competition or not, Thomsen said Cartelli is already on her way to stardom.

“Brynn told me a few weeks ago that when she walked out onto that stage, she felt as though she was home,” Thomsen said. “She said she was completely relaxed, which to me says she’s at home when she’s performing. This isn’t a struggle for her at all, and that leads me to believe she could be at home with this for the rest of her life.

“She’s such a positive person, she’s going to take all the good things from this experience and make it so they help her in life,” Thomsen added. “She will take all the goodness from this and spin it into great success. I’m so proud of her, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with her on such a personal level. The world is her oyster now.”

– By Jeff Hanouille