We continue our series of interviews with the singers on the October Project recording The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace with a profile of Tony Valenzuela, whose heartfelt tenor voice opens the musical round “Know,” track 6.
Introducing Tony Valenzuela, one of the Book of Rounds’ tenors featured on the songs “Home” and “Know”. Tony can truly do it all: he sang a cappella in Yale’s Redhot and Blue and danced in Yale Danceworks, graduated from the school in 2013 as a biology major, and is currently in medical school, a surgeon-hopeful.
Tony first began singing in high school in his hometown of Bethesda, Maryland, where he participated in both choir and a cappella groups. At the time, it was because he was tired of playing the piano – but he soon found himself drawn to the singing. “Besides a cappella, I really love choral music. Eric Whittaker is my jam.” Tony laughs. And while right now he’s hearing more talk about anesthesia than a cappella, he says he’d like to start singing again and eventually be part of a group after medical school.
Looking back, Tony says his favorite song on the Book of Rounds is “Rain”, which features fellow Redhot and Blue alumna Mary Kleshefsky. “It’s mind blowing,” he says of her solo. “Whenever “Rain” come on on my iPod, I can listen to the song over and over.” It was with this intention that the rounds were written in the first place – as “modern mantras” that would inspire reflection through repetition. In this way, Tony’s voice contributes to the healing process of many, through song and stethoscope alike.
In terms of the future, the singing surgeon says he looks forward to continuing his path towards becoming a doctor (and finally getting paid to do something!) Money aside, Tony mentions that the best part of his intended career is that he gets to help people. Perhaps, one day, The Book of Rounds will be playing in Tony’s hospital wing.
You can enjoy the song “Know” here: https://youtu.be/c5oty2OMu4E
By Lucy Tomasso
Lucy Tomasso is a prospective Theater Studies major at Yale and an avid a cappella singer. A member of Yale’s Redhot and Blue, she is honored be a descendant of the Redhot lineage that includes October Project’s Marina Belica. Looking forward, Lucy hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, particularly writing for either the stage or screen.
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