By Amanda Bernocco
Joe Alvarez, freshman voice major, won Post’s Got Talent October 18 for singing classical song “Because We Believe” by Andrea Bocelli. He has never received a vocal lesson in his life until last month.
Alvarez taught himself the song at his home in Schodack, N.Y.. He always enjoyed classical music, which was first introduced to him by his mom.
“I grew up listening to Pamaradi. His voice alone inspired me to be a classical singer,” Alvarez said.
He spent a week preparing for Post’s Got Talent in between classes and work at the farm on campus. It’s not easy for him to keep up with his schedule of practicing for 30 to 60 minutes a day. “Oh god it’s hard,” Alvarez says as he thinks about it.
When it comes to performing, Alvarez only gets nervous before he gets on stage. He was nervous before Post’s Got Talent because he didn’t know what to expect from the competition. However, once he steps on stage all his nerves go away.
“I was kind of at peace…being on stage is comfortable and relaxing to me,” Alvarez said.
He said that he was happy with his performance; although, he felt that a few other people did better than him when he was watching his competitors.
“I was so excited. I never really won anything like that before. It was cool; I was excited! I was excited to sing at pep rally,” Alvarez said.
As winner of Post’s Got Talent, he won $100, a trophy and a chance to sing at pep rally. “There was a lot more people at pep rally. I was more nervous singing at Post’s Got Talent than pep rally because I was being judged and competing for something,” he said.
At pep rally Alvarez got a standing ovation, which made him really happy. After pep rally people began coming up to him in Winnick and telling him how much they enjoyed his performance.
“At some points it made me speechless; it was the biggest audience I ever sang in front of. I didn’t expect to get that reaction from the pep rally. In my opinion, college crowds are hardest to please,” Alvarez said.
He wasn’t sure how it would be singing a classical song in front of college students at pep rally. He was glad he was singing the song that he did because it’s about looking up at the sky and believing, which he felt fit well with the event. Alvarez was just nervous because classic music isn’t as popular as other genres are with college students.
“I think it’s [classical music] a dying art form and not many people pay attention to it. I don’t think it catches the attention of younger audiences. When I sang classical music at my [high] school people would jokingly make fun of it. They can’t understand what it is,” he said.
Alvarez started singing in his freshmen year of high school, where he joined the chorus. His teacher noticed his talent and began giving him solos and told him to go to NYSSMA, where his voice could be critiqued by judges. Both times he went he scored a 99.
His teacher continued to influence him to pursue a career using his voice. “She told me that I had a gift. I worked really hard through high school to make my voice better; they didn’t offer lessons and I couldn’t afford it,” Alvarez said. He explains that it isn’t easy to learn to sing without lessons, especially classical music.
He left on October 25 to go to Orlando, Florida with the church choir from Post this week to sing at a retreat for priests. He is continuing to develop his voice through music classes and by getting vocal lessons from Neal Harrelson, adjunct professor. Harrelson has been teaching Alvarez to control his voice better so he can hit higher notes with ease.