This Thursday, ten Boston College students will take the stage in Robsham to show us what they’ve got. Sing It to the Heights (formerly BC Idol) is back on March 3rd as students showcase their musical talents in the hopes of winning the coveted champion spot and raise money for children’s music programs. We caught up with a few of the contestants and they told us a little about their musical journey and why they chose to Sing It to the Heights!
Sarah Rooney ‘18:
Sarah is from St. Petersburg, Florida, and she’s been singing all her life. Sarah participated in musical theater from 5th to 12th grade and while she hasn’t been able to do it since coming to BC, she says she’d love to get back into it. Her favorite vocal artist is Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and also loves Beyoncé, 80s music, The Cold War Kids and appropriately enough, Kelly Clarkson. She’s a Communications major in MCAS with a double minor in Film Studies and American Studies and hopes to always keep singing; “I hope that singing is always a part of my life in some capacity, even if its just when I’m singing randomly throughout my house someday.” Sarah sees Sing It to the Heights as a great opportunity to get involved for a good cause and to keep doing what she loves.
Khari King ‘19:
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Khari is a Finance major in the Carroll School of Management. He cites Usher, Chris Brown, and Stevie Wonder as his biggest influences, but that doesn’t mean he was always listening to pop music: “Classical music was something my parents pushed me towards as a child. They recognized I needed an outlet for singing but also wanted me to learn discipline and manners so that’s the path we chose,” Khari says of his classical training in the Atlanta Boys Choir. He joined when he was seven years old and learned classical and foreign music for three years before becoming interested in R&B and pop music. With a broad range of experience and influences, Khari King will be a force to be reckoned with on stage Thursday.
Lexi Kelly ‘19:
Majoring in Secondary Education and History in the Lynch School of Education, Lexi has set the curve her whole life. She started with chorus in elementary school and joined an all girls A Capella group in high school called The Highlands Belles, finally graduating to the Bostonians at BC. Music had always been a part of her life in Allendale, NJ, and her parents have had a huge part in that.“I have loved to sing ever since I was very little,” she recalls. “I have a distinct memory of singing along to the Spice Girls movie when I was 3 and my mom has a video of it.” Her dad was in a rock band when he was young and listens to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac with Lexi. Her style is a blend of pop and jazz and some of her inspiration is drawn from artists like Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Stevie Nicks. At Sing It to the Heights, Lexi will be rocking out solo this time, branching out from her A Capella and chorus background: “I thought it would be fun to try something new, because I have never really performed on stage by myself!”
Sarah Zhukovin ‘18:
Sarah, a biology major from Ridgefield Park, NJ, fell in love with music at the age of six when she was exposed to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. She started singing at 11, inspired by two very different influences: the gospel music at her church and Hannah Montana. “The thought of a young girl dominating a stage and singing for large audiences in sparkly outfits was intoxicating to me” Sarah says of her love of performing. She describes her vocal style as soulful, but in an eclectic manner; depending on the song, she incorporates coffeehouse emotion or R&B and gospel vibes. Managing a demanding major and her role in the the BC Dynamics keeps her busy, but she always sees herself performing: “Even when I’m a professional, I think I’d love to always get involved in gigs on the side.”
Tyler Coyne ‘17:
A Marketing and Information Systems major with a minor in Computer Science, Tyler says he has “a master plan to somehow combine all of that with music, maybe working with a music technology company, or marketing for musicians.” He’s moved seven times and calls Cleveland, Ohio his hometown, but he went to high school here in Worcester, Massachusetts. He says he got into music because of his brothers and when his uncle bought him the video game Guitar Hero and he decided he wanted to learn the real thing. “So I sat down with the guitar my Dad had bought to impress my mom in college, a book I bought with my 4th grade birthday money, and taught myself to play,” but the Tenor Sax is where he learned the most musically. He also plays in a band called Starving of Thirst with some of his friends from high school! Their latest album “10:84” available on Spotify (https://play.spotify.com/artist/12foq69vOgpcniXBn6UPVo). He auditioned with the encouragement of Chris Colgan, a participant in the competition last year, and Caroline Portu, a past Sing It to the Heights champion, whom he plays guitar with every week at the 10:15 mass.
Ben Seo ‘17:
Majoring in Psychology and Human Development and Communications, Ben is originally from South Korea and has been influenced by international music. He listens to everything from Korean music to Jazz and R&B to Brit pop, recently settling on Robert Glasper and Jack Garratt as major influences. “Music and singing is something that connects me to my country since I enjoy listening to Korean music” he says. His parents encouraged him to pursue music from an early age as they wanted him to develop better hearing and musical abilities. He fell in love with it, and says that playing instruments, singing, and recording have been some of his favorite activities. Ben isn’t sure yet how he might incorporate his love of music into his plans for the future, but he chose to major in Communications to learn about radio and popular music and the influence they have on people.
Nikolas Diamondidis ‘18:
Nikolas is a sophomore in the Carroll School of Management and is undeclared but interested in Finance. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, he got into music through his band back at home called Paradise Creek. “They needed a singer so I hopped on,” he says. They still find time to work on their music being so far from Annapolis though: “We are actually releasing an EP on Spotify in the next week or so!” His main influences are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cage the Elephant, Twenty One Pilots, and Sublime.
Make sure to check out these contestants as well as Will Supple (’19), Maverick Lydon Shay (’19), and William Bolton (’16) on Thursday night in Robsham at 7PM! Tickets are on sale through the Robsham Box Office and online for $10 and all proceeds go to the St. Columbkille Partnership School in nearby Brighton.