Student musicians take center stage both in, out of classroom

Brielle Young, Co-Editor in Chief

Whether it be playing in a band, singing in chorus, or practicing tuning in a bedroom, music has the capability to resolve deeply with listeners. Seniors Daniel Smith and Angelina Zitelli understand this, sharing their music with the world while keeping up with their academic endeavors.

Since she was young, singer and musician Angelina Zitelli always loved music. As she constantly sang songs for her parents in her home, they began to realize her true talent and musical potential. Under their support and guidance, Zitelli was enrolled in vocal lessons and, as she continued to develop her craft, she became obsessed with all things musical. 

“Unbeknownst to me, these lessons were going to change my life forever,” commented Zitelli. 

Although Zitelli exhibited an aptitude for performing from a young age, it goes without saying that her biggest inspirations helped her reach this point in her music career. She considers her grandfather to be her greatest inspiration. 

“He would always sing to me when I was young before I even knew what I was doing,” shared Zitelli. “He would play various songs on the guitar, and we would create such beautiful songs together; he always motivated me to follow my artistic aspirations.” 

In addition to her grandfather, Zitelli also credits her father for inspiring her, as he played in a band when he was younger and continues to play guitar and sing to this day. 

Zitelli considers music to be an escape for her. Of course, nerves are present at the beginning of the performance but, according to Zitelli, “When I’m performing on stage, the rest of the world begins to fade out. The stage lights really absorb you and you become lost in the moment.” 

With a sweet voice comes a kind heart, and Zitelli appreciated the aspect of performing that allows her to feel good knowing that she is making an impact in other people’s lives by following her passion. 

“I would say that Angie listens when I need [her], and she is so genuine and sincere when I need to hear it,” expressed senior Emily Mountcastle. “She always wishes the best for the people she loves.” 

Not only does she excel on stage, but she performs in the classroom as well. By taking advanced level AICE courses, Zitelli has received both college credit and the AICE Diploma with Merit. Additionally, she has taken AP courses during her high school career, shaping her to be a stellar student in further education. She has also taken difficult courses at Palm Beach State College through dual enrollment, including Music Appreciation. 

As for her extracurricular involvement, there is no doubt that they involved music. She has been a member of Tri-M, the National Music Honor Society, for three years, has been involved in the chorus program since her freshman year and serves on the Chorus Leadership Board, and is currently honored to be the Captain of Traditions for this school year. As a member of the prestigious Florida Vocal Associations SSAA 2021 cycle All-State choir, Zitelli is able to perform with like-minded singers. 

She also is a humanitarian, volunteering with Key Club, UNICEF, and Dance Marathon. She has recently been nominated as the 2021 Pathfinder Nominee in the Music/Vocal category where she will represent Palm Beach Central in the esteemed competition. 

Angelina is a devoted scholar who uses her musical talent to enhance projects in all her subjects,” shared AICE Global Perspectives teacher Dr. Milich. “My favorite project from GPR last year was when her group created a music video in which they used animated LEGO characters to illustrate the subject and Angelina sang a parody of Bohemian Rhapsody. It was not only entertaining, enlightening, and funny, it was because her voice is so amazing that the whole project is so delightful.” 

In the future, Zitelli aspires to major in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology at Florida State University and earn her Masters Degree. She hopes to be employed in a hospital or rehabilitation center in order to share her love of music with patients.

“It is my dream to help others and allow them to indulge themselves in music and fall in love with it the same way I did,” expressed Zitelli. “Music has truly changed my life, and it is a gift I want to bestow on everyone.”

Similarly, senior and Palm Beach State College early-admit Daniel Smith began playing the guitar at 12 years old. The guitar, which remained untouched in his closet for the majority of his childhood until middle school, helped him cope with his parent’s rough divorce. 

Smith credits singer and astounding guitarist John Mayer with helping him develop his guitar skills. His mother, a big fan of Mayer, further enticed him to pick up the guitar during such a difficult time in their lives to play. 

“I finally decided to play so I had an outlet for my frustration but also for my mom to see her smile and know how proud she was of me,” commented Smith.

Throughout middle school. Smith sharpened his skills and honed in on his craft. He joined chorus where he was able to further learn musical elements and control his voice. However, his talent would shine through in unconventional places. 

“My first real performance was in 8th grade,” explained Smith. “It was for my English class where I performed “O Captain, O Captain!” by Walt Whitman. 

Evidently, his favorite artist is John Mayer. Without being introduced to his music by his mother, Smith also takes inspiration from classical musicians and composers like Johann Sebastian Bach and Beethoven.

“I love Johann Sebastian Bach for his technical mastery, followed by Beethoven for his emotional perspective in his music,” shared Smith. 

In high school, Smith performed in chorus as he continued to share his passion for performance with others. After taking a variety of challenging courses, Smith decided to enroll as an early admitted student with Palm Beach State College for his senior year. Not only does he focus on school, but he also enjoys reading, biking, journaling, and learning new pieces on his guitar. 

In the future, Smith wishes to help others as a career. He aspires to work in a mental health council and broaden people’s perspectives on the importance of mental health while bringing light into their lives.