Lydia Bill grew up in a family of musicians and got a taste of performing while in elementary school. In high school, she has been involved in school musicals, community theater, school choir as well as three bands. She has received many accolades for her artistic pursuits, including a nomination for best supporting actress by 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle — a high honor for young actors from all around the state.
In addition to being a talented performer, Bill is heavily involved in leadership activities with her musical groups. A baritone saxophone player, she has served as various section leaders, among other things. As a junior, she was the marching band drum major, an experience she found both challenging and rewarding.
“It was a cool leadership role. It was really hard but it taught me a lot,” she said. “I needed to know when I was wrong and needed to do better — there was a lot of personal growth.”
Her choir teacher, Alison Ellis, said Bill is easily one of the top three students she has taught in her five years at the high school and 15 years in private studio teaching.
“As a musician, she is one of the most well-rounded students I have ever met, as well as being one of the strongest in both theory and performance,” Ellis said. “Lydia is a natural leader — calm and confident, with a great mix of enthusiasm and steadiness. Students follow her not only because they respect her knowledge and ability, but because they genuinely like her.”
She was inspired by her father, who almost pursued acting as a professional career and has also taught drama at Peninsula High for many years.
“My dad really opened my eyes to theater,” she said. She also followed in the footsteps of her mother, who is a band teacher.
Bill loves performing in live theater shows.
“It’s the ultimate experience, portraying a relatable character,” she said. “There’s always a little bit of me in every role.” Her dream is to someday portray a major character such as Amelia Earhart or Joan of Arc.
She plans to pursue her passion for theater into a professional career and said she’s determined to succeed. She will be attending Pacific Lutheran University to study theater acting and directing, and hopes to become involved in choir and drama club.
“I don’t have a backup plan,” she said. “I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. And I’m prepared to do what it takes.”
Category: Music, Art and Drama
Education: Senior, Peninsula High School
Parents: Jonathan Bill and Julie Allison
Activities/Achievements: Symphonic, jazz and marching bands; chamber choir; Symphonic All State Choir; PHS theater productions; 5th Avenue Theatre nomination for best supporting actress; vocal solo ensemble first alternate to state, superior rating in instrumental solo and ensemble; Tumwater Marching Festival Best Drum Major; marching band drum major; choir president; Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble; band council
Favorite Teacher: Alison Ellis, choir. “Besides my father, she was the first to give me the faith and tools I needed to make my dreams come true.”
Best thing about high school: “How much the arts are supported by the students, faculty and administration. We are very lucky for that and our community is better because of it.”