Angie Aguilera, Vocal Performance
By Caitlin Hofen
Under the hot stage lights, the pianist rolls the starting notes and the conductor breathes deeply, signaling the beginning of the piece. The choir starts quietly singing, full of energy and rhythm. They grow louder, voices filled with passion. As the final chord rings through the auditorium, the vocalists breathe a sigh of relief, satisfied with their performance.
A Vocal Performance major, Angie Aguilera, ’22, knows the performance feeling very well. A member of all three Northwestern choirs, she performs anywhere between five to 15 times a year for various Northwestern events and concerts.
A native of the Bronx in New York City, N.Y., Aguilera has loved music since she was a young child. With a passion for both music and caring for others, she plans to return to New York with her degree from Northwestern to be a private vocal instructor.
Aguilera’s family moved from the Bronx to Woodward, Okla., in her teen years. After she graduated from high school, she attended a large university; but Aguilera didn’t feel it was the right fit for her.
“I wanted to go somewhere I would get more individual attention and that was closer to home,” Aguilera said. “I had tried going to a bigger university with a music program; but there, I was just a number. I wasn’t given as many opportunities as I’ve been given at Northwestern, a place where I’ve found my voice and have grown so much as a musician.
A big advocate for mental health, Aguilera credits her friends and professors for helping her succeed on her path of higher education.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good support system before I came here. The professors want you to reach out and let them help you. The friends I’ve made have helped me tremendously, too. It took me a while to get used to having people who I could go to for help.
“Mental health is something I’m very passionate about. I’ve been trying to break through the stigma surrounding it and making sure that my voice is heard. I feel that by me doing this, other people feel encouraged to open up about their struggles. Being here and feeling the support has helped my mentality so much, and I want to share that with others.”
Aguilera works closely with her professors within the Fine Arts Department, involving both her studies and through her position on the Choral Leadership Team. She believes this is unique to Northwestern.
“I feel Northwestern is a great school. I can talk to my professors individually and be involved in leadership opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten before coming here. Having gone to a larger university, I feel I have the insight to say Northwestern truly cares for their students. Students are supported and are encouraged to succeed and grow here.”