Talent Showcase: Olivia O’Reilly
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By Julianna Zitron, staff writer
When not sitting in class or studying, Junior Olivia O’Reilly is on the stage singing her heart out. Whether singing for school events or performing for others in need of a song, Olivia strives to share her voice with her audience.
Olivia’s vocal journey began in the fifth grade. Since then, she has gone from performing at her elementary school talent show to singing at school-wide performances and charity events.
At Townsend Harris High School, Olivia has found opportunities to share her voice through both the chorus and SING!. During this year’s Founder’s Day performance, Olivia was part of the chorus’ presentation and also sang the THHS alma mater alongside her peers. Additionally, she was a part of several vocal performances during SING!. This year, she took part in singing a solo during the Freshiors’ rendition of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing),” and sung in the group performance of “No Scrubs” by TLC. Olivia commented, “My favorite part of performing is watching the expressions of the audience and the connection made between me and them.”
Olivia hopes she can use her voice to aid in spreading joy to others. She has sung for The Carnival of Love Foundation, which supports autistic children and others with special needs. Performing an original song, Olivia aimed to bring a smile to these children’s faces. Olivia explains, “This performance really touched me and has inspired me to continue singing [in similar situations]. She adds, “[This experience] really struck a chord, singing for such an important cause.”
Among Olivia’s many musical influences is Sam Smith. She expressed her bond with the artist’s works, saying, “His lyrics are deep which I find in so original and easy to connect to.” Olivia explains that Sam Smith’s vocal techniques have a major impact on her own voice. She uses his music in order to develop her own style when she sings.
Olivia encourages others to chase after their dreams, no matter how large. When it comes to the arts, confidence is vital. “If you enjoy singing you should pursue it and always sing from the heart.”