Graduation day is looming and will mark the end of GBS extracurriculars for the seniors of Glenbrook South. However, for senior Grace Cepeda, a singer in both Masters and Chambers Choirs, her passion for singing is far from over.
According to Cepeda, her decision of pursuing the arts in college can be seen as a risk. Cepeda admitted that she often felt that pressure and considered other possible career paths during her first years at GBS.
“I was very worried about what other people thought I should be,” Cepeda said. “I thought [that] maybe I’ll go into sociology, maybe I’ll do this, I’ll do that, but it kept coming back to music.”
Cepeda explained that as she spent more time in choir, she realized that continuing in the music field was a risk she had to take because of the joy it brought her.
“Every single moment I was with the music and in the music I was so happy,” Cepeda said. “[Music] is the only thing I can do.”
According to Cepeda, she began her career at GBS looking to get involved in theatre and speech. Cepeda explained that she wanted a chance to spend time with her friends, in addition to preparing for the school musical. As she entered her junior year, Cepeda made Chambers Choir and joined the Masters Choir program.
According to Andrew Toniolo, Masters Choir director, Cepeda plays a crucial role in the programs. Toniolo explained that Cepeda’s presence helps foster a friendly environment.
“I always have known Grace to be very personable,” Toniolo said. “I’d say she has a positive impact on everyone around her – she sports such a good sense of humor.”
According to Cepeda, while her journey with music has blossomed at GBS, she reflects that her passion has been developing her whole life.
“My whole life has been centered towards music,” Cepeda said. “Both my parents are musicians, so I feel like my whole life has been going this way.”
In addition to choir, Cepeda says she has been writing her own songs since the second grade. Although she prioritized singing for most of high school, she is eager to shift her focus back to creating music.
“One of my biggest regrets in high school is that I focused a lot on the singing and not so much on the music itself,” Cepeda said. “Especially now that I’m going to college for [song writing and creating music], I really wanna buckle down and dedicate my time to [it].”
Following her time at GBS, Cepeda will continue to follow her passion of music in college, and hopes to continue to expand her musical scope .
“I am going to Columbia College in Chicago, and I’m going for contemporary music,” Cepeda said. “That will be a very interesting experience because here, we don’t do contemporary music as much.”
According to Cepeda she will be having new experiences in college, but there are some things about GBS that won’t be there following her graduation.
“I feel like there is something here that I am not going to get at Columbia: the choral program,” Cepeda said. “I’m excited for a change of speed and style, but I love choral music, so I’m going to miss the variety of stuff we sing and the quality of our choirs.”