As the bright lights shine down onto sophomore Kenan Ozer‘s flushed face, he is prepared to shake off all the nerves and start off his performance for Echo Effect.
Ozer’s interest in singing was sparked when he wanted to partake in the school musical at Edison Elementary School.
“I started singing in fourth grade because I wanted to be a part of the musical, Tom Sawyer. I’ve been inspired by Ed Sheeran because I really enjoy the musical elements he puts into all of his work and how every song is different from the last,” Ozer said.
Echo Effect is an immensely involved extracurricular, but Ozer manages to excel in school as he excels in a cappella.
“I always set aside specific times for music and other times for focusing on classes so that I can maintain a good balance of the both. I study a lot when I’m not busy in order to make sure I keep up with my good grades,” Ozer said.
After his group took first place in their last competition, they advanced to semifinals, which will take place on March 3.
“I have been practicing most nights of the week with the guys in Echo Effect so that we can perfect our set. We really want to put on a good performance, and the only way we can do that is to keep on practicing,” Ozer said. “The guys and I are really excited to perform at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. We have some tough competition, but as long as we have fun and really focus on the music it will be an amazing experience for all of us.”
Good friend and sophomore Dylan Dinkha is exceptionally proud of how far Ozer has come and how he is going to continue to grow.
“I’ve seen him get a lot better at managing his time between school, friends, and extracurriculars. I’m so excited to see him advance. He’s worked very hard for this and I’m glad to see it pay off,” Dinkha said.
Alongside Ozer on and off stage, junior Anthony Saldana is extremely proud of Ozer and the bond he has been able to create with him through Echo Effect.
“Singing with Kenan has allowed me to create such a strong bond with him because we see each other every day during choir and being a part of Echo Effect has just made that bond stronger, like brothers,” Saldana said. “He has always had a strong musical ability and great voice, but since last year he has grown so much as a musician. It makes me proud to see such a talent hasn’t gone to waste.”