VAPA Students Step into the ‘Spotlight’ at Lunchtime Performance

The sun blazes above the theatre building; a crowd of excited students gather, eyes fixated on four people standing in the amphitheater. Each of the four individuals – fine arts liaison and senior Puneet Singh, senior Jamaal Walker, junior Paola Morales and sophomore Mathias Lee – have one thing in common: the ability to enchant anyone with only their voices.

Singh created the first VAPA Spotlight Performance, which took place during lunch on Oct. 1, to highlight the talents of the choir department. According to Singh, she came up with the idea after she realized that lunchtime performances were a fun way to allow performers to get their name out while also encouraging students to support their friends and the fine arts department.

“I’ve gotten to see a lot more talent than I ever knew Portola really had, and because of that, I really wanted to make sure that other people were able to hear this talent,” Singh said. 

Singh said when she realized that she was surrounded by talented students that rarely got the chance to perform solo, she wanted to help them step into the spotlight.

“I honestly loved it,” audience member and senior Alexis Arroyo said. “I’ve never really seen Jamaal perform in front of an audience, and me be part of the audience,  so it was really a big experience to see him perform in front of everyone at the school and to see how much guts it takes to actually perform.”

For Lee, this was his first time performing a solo. Lee said that he has been singing for as long as he can remember. His mom was a voice major in college and constantly plays music in the house.

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” Lee said. “Especially if an opportunity is just given to you, take it because there’s never any harm in gaining the performance experience and pursuing your passion and showing it to other people.”