Interviewed by Katie Taylor, SHS junior
Q. Dan, you are an accomplished singer and euphonium player. When and how did you begin singing and playing?
I started singing in my church choir when I was 8 years old. Once I realized how enjoyable performing could be, I participated in every musical opportunity I found—including playing the euphonium in the sixth grade band.
Q. Do you have a favorite type of music to sing or play?
Typically, I opt to sing Broadway tunes. Some of my favorites include “Rosie” from “Bye Bye, Birdie,” “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “What Do I Need With Love” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Q. Is it difficult to balance both being a vocalist and playing the euphonium? How do you think singing affects your playing and vice versa?
It has not been as difficult as one might think! Actually, I believe that both singing and playing euphonium have improved my musical abilities.
Q. You have performed in school concerts, honors choirs, and musicals, most recently as Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables.” What is your favorite performance memory?
In March of 2017, while on a trip to Canada with the Somers High School Chamber Choir, we sang in the Notre Dame de Québec Church. While surrounded by my peers, listening to and performing beautiful pieces, I first realized that I cannot let music slip through my fingers once I graduate from from high school. I now plan on attending college with the intent of graduating with a degree in music education.
Q. How has being a musician shaped your high school experience?
As a freshman, I was not nearly as involved with music as I am today. Being exposed to additional musical opportunities such as clubs and classes in high school helped me develop my passion for all that is music.
Q. What are you most looking forward to with your music during your senior year and beyond?
I am looking forward to my last few months with those that have grown to be my family. I am also excited to perform at this year’s “Disney in Concert,” the spring musical, and with my choir/band concerts for the last time. I cannot wait to take on the years to come that will lead me to an adult life full of music.
Q. As a senior at SHS, what kind of advice would you give to younger SCSD students who want to be involved in the performing arts?
I would strongly advise any and all students to involve music in their lives in even the smallest way. Although this may seem cliché, wasting time as well as opportunities simply because you may be scared of judgmental peers is pointless. As a senior, I can confidently say that high school flies by faster than expected; spend every second of these four years doing what you love.
This interview was submitted by STARS (“Somers Tuskers Arts Rising Stars”), a booster club made up of parents and staff members committed to supporting the performing arts in the Somers Central Schools. Part of the STARS mission is to educate the community about the student performers, their talents, and their work ethic. For more information, please visit: somersschools.org and click on the “Families” tab to get to the STARS web page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org