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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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From Capetown to choir, Campbell continues singing

From Capetown to choir, Campbell continues singing

Moving around frequently from place to place, he had to make many sacrifices. Old friends, schools and local hangouts had to be left behind in order to start a new life someplace else. Yet throughout all these moves, junior Murray Campbell was able to stay thoroughly involved in his passion: music.

Campbell was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and subsequently lived there for six years. Although, according to Campbell, he enjoyed his childhood there, he was not able to completely ground his roots, because his family soon moved.

“When I was six, my dad got a job in the States, so we moved to Boston,” Campbell said.

After living in Boston for about a year, Campbell, his parents and his younger sister moved to Wisconsin due to a new job offer. Campbell was in fourth grade at the time.

“I lived there for a very long time, [and] I made some good friends there,” Campbell said.

In Wisconsin, Campbell discovered his musical talent when his mom made him try out for the musical at his grade school. He ended up landing a lead role and stuck with singing.

“I didn’t really start working on my voice until, I think, halfway through my freshman year,” Campbell said.

Right before school started this summer, Campbell moved to Glenview. His family had been interested in GBS and started looking into it further.

“I love it here,” Campbell said. “It’s a beautiful town, and the school is incredible.”

Last school year, he shadowed students for two days to get a feel for the school, as well as the music and theater department, where his main interest lies. Not only does he sing, but he also plays piano.

“The first day that I came here Mr. [Martin Sirvatka] and Mrs. [Stevi] Marks were just so nice to me,” Campbell said about his new teachers. “They are really incredible people, and I’m so glad that I’m working with them.”

According to music teacher Marks, he shadowed at the right time to get further involved into the department.

“He came to visit us last spring,” Marks said. “That’s when we met him and that’s how he got to audition for Nine. He’s got this great bass voice like really low […] and he ended up making Nine.”

Nine is the male a capella singing group at South made up of nine boys who perform in shows throughout the year. According to Campbell, Nine is his favorite group that he has joined here.

“It’s great that I made it into Nine when I came here because I had an immediate group of friends,” he said. “[What’s] really hard when you’re moving is finding friends. I get along well with those guys […] When we improve ourselves, it’s like a group effort.”

Furthermore, Marks praises Campbell not just for his sing ability but also his knowledge of music in general.

“He brings a really strong musical sense,” Marks said. “[…] But also he has a strong theatrical sense so when he sings he understands that he can show us the emotion of the music and also really be connected with the text.”

Sirvatka, chair of the Fine Arts Department, agrees with Marks, stating that he just has the right ear for music and song.

“He’s got a great sense of pitch and that’s the number one most important thing for someone trying to sing in an a cappella group,” Sirvatka said.

Along with a weekly Nine rehearsal, Campbell is also balancing Master Singers, Scat That!, voice lessons and AP Music Theory.

“I do have a lot on my plate,” Campbell said. “This is definitely one of my hardest years.  Not just academically, but musically […] I have a lot of work ahead.”

Campbell has started to think about performances like the Variety Show and Spring Musical and said when the time comes, he will be auditioning for both.

“I think he definitely should think about auditioning for [Variety Show] and the musical,” Marks said. “That’s what we want to encourage him to do.”

According to Campbell, musical theater is his favorite of the performing arts.

“There’s just something about getting on a stage in front of people and bringing entertainment to them,” Campbell explained. “It’s […] magical in a way.”

Moreover, Marks says that he is such a positive, respectful guy, whom everyone in the Music Department genuinely enjoys being around.

“And you know, he’s humble,” Marks said. “He didn’t walk in and go, ‘I’m really talented.’”

According to junior Katherine Loiselle, a good friend of Campbell’s, she is really excited to have him involved in the department.

“He’s just, like, really polite and really sweet,” Loiselle said. “He’s very considerate and thoughtful.”

Marks and Sirvatka both agree that Campbell, like many other students involved in music, has a great work ethic and is very teachable.

“Some people will think, ‘Oh okay, he’s the new kid on the block,’ so they’re all really excited about him,” Marks said. “No. He’s talented. And he tries hard […] We are excited about him just like we are about any other student in our class.”

According to Marks, his greatest attribute is the fact that Campbell is modest and not trying to grandstand anyone.


“If you have all that going for you, you will go very far,” Marks said. “It’s the people who lack humility and think they’re so great who people don’t want to work with […] He’s a team player.”

 Campbell explained that singing is a group effort, and everyone involved loves what they do which makes it that much more fun.

“Why do I love to sing?” Campbell said. “I ask myself this question a lot […] The arts in general have become so important to me ever since I got into high school, and I don’t know how it happened. I just got into singing, and I don’t really want to stop because it’s just so fun.”

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