BILLINGS — Chloe Tschetter is busy.
She’s the first chair viola in the Billings West orchestra. She’s an acting and dance coach at Movement Montana, and she’s playing the female lead - Sandy the Squirrel - in Billings Studio Theater’s upcoming performance of SpongeBob the Musical.
But maybe her most impressive contribution to the arts is the four-track EP she released earlier this month.
"It changes," Tschetter said when asked if she has a favorite of the four songs. "What’s cool is that people who have listened to it, I've heard each one be someone’s favorite, which is all you could ask for."
The singing part is nothing new. Check out this video of Tschetter many years ago singing a rendition of Rehab by Amy Winehouse.
What’s new is belting out her own lyrics.
"Singing already is a really vulnerable thing," she said, "but adding your own words on top of that, it was definitely scary."
"The bravery and the courage behind realizing a song at any age, but then to be 17, it's absolutely inspiring," said Chae Clearwood, SpongeBob the Musical director.
Tschetter released the EP as her Platinum Project at West, enlisting freshman English teacher Matt Rockeman for help.
"Even her first drafts of the piece were put together and solid," Rockeman said. "Now that I’ve listened to the finalized pieces, I’m very impressed."
"I thought the streams would all be my mom, to be honest," Tschetter said with a laugh. "But I’ve had people at school who I haven’t talked to in years come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I gave this a listen. I really loved it.' It’s been so cool."
If you’d like to hear Tschetter in-person, you’ll have plenty of chances next month at BST, her second home for the last seven years.
"My first show was Lion King, Jr.," she said. "I was Rafiki the monkey, which was a pretty big part for my first one. It was very intimidating, because there were a lot of people who had been doing it for a long time, but they were all so encouraging."
Sandy might be her last hometown role for a while, depending on where she goes college. What she does there isn’t really a question: she'll do everything.
"I know I want to study theater," Tschetter said. "Im interested in creative writing and psychology. I know I want to keep writing songs and playing viola. I think I’m going to stay busy as long as I can."
"She's got so much to offer in all those areas that I can’t wait to see what Chloe does, no matter the form," Clearwood added.
It will certainly be something to watch out for.