Spotlight Series: Palo Alto College Vocalists
June 6, 2019
At Palo Alto College, students studying the performing arts have many opportunities to grow and showcase their skills. Cristina Esquivel, Alexander Montalvo, Rebecca Milligan, Jordan Rodriguez, and Samantha Moreno are students at the College who have done just that, and they have earned the opportunity of a lifetime.
These five students have unique paths that brought them to where they are today. Although they each have different career goals, they all believe they belong on stage.
"I realized that I just loved being in front of people," said Esquivel, a drama student at the College. "I love the adrenaline and rush it gives me because I manifest that energy into positivity."
This summer, the students are traveling to Sydney, Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House with vocalists from around the world as part of the 2019 Young Adult Honors Performance Series. They will spend six days in Sydney studying under master conductors, getting to know accomplished musicians from around the world, and experiencing the highlights of "the Harbour City."
"It was really exciting when we found out. I got chills all over my body," said Moreno, a music education student. "It's such an amazing opportunity. I never thought that I would be doing this, and I am so grateful that I am."
The trip presents an opportunity for the students to showcase their talent and make connections on international level. The other vocalists in the program come from all over the world, so it is significant that five applicants from Palo Alto College were selected.
"It just shows that there's something here," said Montalvo, music student. "They're setting us up to continue performing and inspire others."
All five students agree that their time studying at Palo Alto College has been vital to their growth as performers. The students credit the faculty for pushing them to try new things and find their niches.
"They [the performing arts faculty] see where you need work, and they help you grow," said Milligan, drama student. "They're always pushing you to be the best person and performer that you can be."
The learning opportunities at the College went further than just sitting in a classroom.
"I was not only able to take all my theater classes but also be given tons of opportunities to perform in several different shows, play a range of different characters from female to male and everything in between," said Rodriguez, drama student, who has strengthened his acting, music, and dance skills. "We're being taught to become triple threats."
The trip comes as four of the students graduated from Palo Alto College in spring 2019. As they all continue pursuing their educational and professional goals, the students will use what they have learned to accomplish new goals.
"Hopefully one day I'll get to be a part of a touring show," said Rodriguez. "I want to tour across the entire world and perform for different audiences while seeing different places."