Juan Cabrera ’16 began singing in fifth grade, and music became a significant part of his life by the time he was a freshman at Eaglebrook. “I feel like it’s been a passion of mine ever since I was little. That’s really all I’ve ever been interested in,” Cabrera said.
When Cabrera came to Deerfield as a sophomore, he became a member of the chorus and the Mellow-Ds. His involvement in the music program increased in the 2014-15 school year, when he took on the vocal ensemble, the Honors Vocal Quintet, and travelled to Korea and Hong Kong for the first ever Deerfield music tour. Most recently, Cabrera has been leading the Mellow-Ds as a co-captain and singing in the cast of Cabaret, the winter musical.
Visual and Performing Arts teacher John Van Eps described Cabrera, saying, “Juan feels music on a very deep level; it influences everything he does. He loves all genres and has a great appreciation for history and the singers and music that came before him.”
One of the unique challenges Cabrera has faced at Deerfield has been working with three different music directors in the last three years. Each director led the choral program in a different way, which required students to adapt to various types of music, such as traditional, classical, and pop. “I feel like being able to be versatile has helped me grow a lot as an artist,” said Cabrera.
“When [Juan] sings with transparency of spirit and musical clarity, he can be quite expressive,” said Director of Music Daniel Jackson. He praised Cabrera as a “well-rounded individual with a hunger, passion and a drive for excellence.”
Although preparing for frequent solos and group performances takes up most of his time, Cabrera also engages in other activities as creative outlets. He explained, “I really like painting. It’s a lot of fun. Poetry’s really cool, too. I’m in Mr. Stallings’ class, and it’s something that I also love doing a lot, which I only really found out this year.”
Music, however, is undoubtedly what Cabrera loves most. “Singing is literally everything to me. I feel as though if I didn’t have my music and my singing, I wouldn’t be in the same place that I am today. It’s helped me through a lot because I’ve had something to turn to no matter what and I know that it will always be there for me,” he said.
Cabrera hopes to pursue a career as a singer after leaving Deerfield. “I feel like with music, it’s always something I have to myself and it’s something I love with all of my heart. Being able to do that as a job and as a career, in my head, would be phenomenal.”
The past three years at Deerfield have proved to be a time of immense growth for Cabrera as a singer. He said, “Now, I look at myself, and I’m actually pretty happy about where I am, and I feel like there’s only room for improvement.”