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From the stage to the songs
To someone looking from the outside, Brenda Alderete may seem like your typical Quinnipiac student. She currently is a Junior, as a sociology major and a global public health minor, as well as being the president of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.
However, her music is what sets her apart.
Alderete first recorded and released an EP back in 2015, and she says that she has an album coming out in the summer. However, this didn’t all happen overnight.
When she was young, Alderete’s parents tried to get her involved in afterschool activities, like judo or gymnastics. After trying performing at age seven for her local community theater, she felt like she found her fit.
“I think there’s something so different about performing in general, and getting to be someone else, and getting to know what feelings they feel when expressing that. And I thought it was cool to get feedback from the audience,” she said.
When she started, Alderete said that the theater would only give her single song performances, as she was only a kid. As she got more experienced, she was eventually able to start performing in musicals. Alderete said that her first musical was a production of Beauty and the Beast.
Even though Alderete now relishes being on stage, she says that it was intimidating at first.
“I didn’t know how I would sound, especially in front of an audience,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if things would change, especially if I were in front of people.”
Junior Chelsea Rizzo, a friend of Alderete’s since they were little and is currently her roommate, remembers when Alderete was just beginning, watching her in musicals while sitting with Alderete family.
“I thought it was pretty cool because I was never a singer or an actor, and I’d be too nervous to do anything like that. So, I thought it was pretty amazing to see her with so much confidence,” she said.
Alderete kept up with her music through high school, improving both her singing and acting along the way. However, when she got to QU, Alderete wasn’t sure if she could keep performing.
“Coming to college, I didn’t think that I could be involved with music as much, as I am very busy, and I had to focus on other things, so I knew I wouldn’t have time to do a full length production at school or anything like that, “ she said.
However, she was still able to keep involved with music, as not only is she a member of the Quinnipiac Legends, the school’s a capella group, but she also began recording songs.
“I guess my biggest reason for shifting to it was because it was something I could do a little bit more on my own, and kind of workshop it on my own, as opposed to dedicating hours and hours to a production,” she said.
Alderete says that she has already had internet success with her pop country sound. She says that soon after her EP was released, she charted on the itunes singer-songwriter charts.
“One of my great friends in my a capella group, the Legends, she had texted me the following day, and she kept sending me pictures of the charts, and I could not believe it… that was awesome,” she said.
Rizzo was also happy for her friend’s success. Despite Alderete having a busy life at QU, Rizzo says that they are still as close as can be.
“She’s pretty much a shoulder I can lean on. Although she’s a singer, she’s always rooting for me… She helps me with literally anything and everything. It’s crazy because she’s… so active on campus, but she’s always there for whenever I need her,” she said.
Despite having the potential for a music career, Alderete says that she plans to still graduate.
Having come to the US from Paraguay when she was three, Alderete says she’s attending school due to looking up to her mother, who emphasises the value of having and education.
“I definitely plan on continuing with music and seeing what’s out there after college, but I think it’s important just to finish off an education first because, once you have it, no one can take that away from you,” she said.
Along with having the album coming out in the summer, Alderete is going to be working in Paraguay in a hospital with kids for her global public health minor. Rizzo feels that Alderete’s determination and want to be a positive force is what makes her strong.
“I think she is one of the very few people that, no matter what she has in her mind… she pushes herself so far in advance to make sure she accomplishes everything,” she said.
If she does make it big, Alderete says that she’d be glad with her success.
“I would be nothing but proud for sticking to it. Growing up, people say that it’s out of reach… it’s just tough, so I would be really, really proud of not losing sight of what’s important to me,” she said.