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WED. |3-27-24| FEATURES

     Music can transport you to different worlds and offer a safe haven when you need it most. For freshman Connor North, music is exactly that: an escape where they can be exactly who they are.

     North has not always been invested in music, but over the last six months, they discovered their talent for singing and acting.

     “I had always liked to sing, but I had never thought I was any good at it, but recently I found out I’m not bad,” North said.

     After attending a summer camp that helped them refine their talent, North started taking chorus and orchestra at Rose last semester. In addition to these classes, they are also participating in theater and the spring musical.      “I've made a lot of friends with other people that are in the theater department and also through the summer camp I went to,” North said. “I found my place and people and they've helped me accept and love myself unconditionally.” 


Contributed Photo

     These extracurriculars have introduced North to a world of new people along with creating opportunities for them to release their emotions. 

     “Music means a lot to me,” North said. “It's a really good way of self-expression so that's one of the ways I use it.”

     For North, music has a way of expressing what they struggle to put into words. When faced with tough situations, sometimes it could take a good song to place feelings.

     “It feels good to put stuff to the side so all I'm thinking about is music and whatever I’m doing on stage,” North said.

     This time spent singing by themself or on stage in front of a crowd gives North a unique moment to be emotional and vulnerable.

     “It can be freeing, especially if it is something super emotional that I get to sing about,” North said. “It is like getting something off your chest you’ve been holding in for a very long time.”

     North has been a part of the LGBTQ+ community for over four years and in the past has not had the easiest time expressing themself. This new stream of creativity has helped them find a sense of identity. 

     “I did struggle [to express myself] for quite some time,” North said. “I attempted to use physical art like painting and drawing, and while it did the job, once I found myself in music, I felt something I had never felt before- I felt at peace.”

     Having representation and people to look up to in their community has been essential for North’s personal acceptance. 

     “Hearing other artists that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and seeing how successful they are and how passionate they are about music, I have been able to relate to them,” North said.

     As culture changes and evolves, the music industry does as well. Experiencing adversity is not new, but music helps North push past indifferences and welcome diversity.

     “I think music shapes our culture in some ways and some culture shapes our music,” North said. 

“Without music, I don't think our world would be where it is today.”

     Music and performing are an integral part of North’s life and they encourage others to experiment and dive further into music as well.

     “Reach out to anybody you can, talk to your parents, you never know what your family might have done; maybe they are experts in this and you just don't know it yet,” North said. “School is also a really good way to reach out and talk to a theatre director or a chorus director, anyone who does music.”

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