Grant Yosenick is one of four semi-finalists competing for a chance to sing onstage with Pacific Symphony for the second “OC Can You Sing?” competition. Get to know Grant below, then watch his video of “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables and vote for who you’d like to hear perform on Pacific Symphony’s Pops concert with legendary saxophonist Kenny G Feb. 14-16 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
How old are you?
18 years old
How and when did you first get introduced to the world of music and singing?
My first genuine musical experience came during my years in the Southern California Childrens Choir. When I was going into 3rd grade, my parents asked me if I wanted to participate in the SCCC, partly because one of my friends was going to. I didn’t oppose the idea in any way, so my folks signed me up. The choir met every Tuesday for two hours and it was there that I believe my interests and passions for music were cemented. Through the choir I was exposed to a great deal of wonderful repertoire and I developed a keen ear for music in general. Moreover, at each of our practices, we did sight reading exercises which in turn helped me to become the excellent sight reader I am today. I spent 6 years in the SCCC, progressing from the various levels until I reach the highest level in 7th grade. Unfortunately, I had to quit my freshman year of high school due to scheduling problems, but being in the choir was a great experience for me and helped me to really be introduced to the world of music and singing.
What is your favorite style or genre of music to sing?
When it comes to LISTENING to music, I am fairly open as far as genre is concerned. However, when it comes to SINGING music, I prefer to sing show tunes and old rock/pop music. Of course, I enjoy singing classical music, too, but the reason the classical genre is not my favorite is mainly because the majority of vocal music is in Italian, French and German, none of which I speak particularly well (in fact, I took CHINESE in high school!). With musical theater and old rock/pop music in English, I can connect more to the mood and the feeling of the words and consequently, I can connect more to what I am singing.
If you could play any character from a Broadway musical or opera, who would it be and why?
It depends on what the qualifications are for wanting the role. From a strictly musical standpoint, the character of Tony in West Side Story gets to sing what I believe some of the most memorable and beautiful songs in all of musical theater (“Something’s Coming,” “Maria” and “Tonight” are all some of my personal favorites), so he would be one of my first choices. From a strictly character standpoint, I believe that I am much like the Russian in the musical Chess (which I have been lately obsessed with). He always feels unsure of himself as I often do, and because he is particularly athletic, he is manipulated by other frequently, s problem which I also find myself in frequently. More importantly, however, I actually play chess competitively, so I could relate a lot on that level. I’m sure I’d be happy with either role.
Who is one of your singing idols?
One of my biggest singing idols is the legendary operatic pop singer Andrea Bocelli. Like me, he has a handicap that limits him to a certain extent, but his voice is so incredibly beautiful, it simply moves people. Even though I haven’t heard all that much of his music, I think he is amazingly talented and I hope to be as successful as him someday, whichever career path I choose.
Don’t forget to watch his video and vote!