Tenor’s talent brings acclaim

Although Julian Hicks ’08 considers himself first  and foremost an actor, he exhibits a wide range of talents on the stage. He has auditioned for the school musical every year, he played the lead in this year’s production of “Les Misèrables,” he is a member of Scene Monkeys and he participates in Advanced Dance II: Performance & Production. He sees all of his onstage pursuits as the interpretation of a character.

Hicks is a member of Chamber Singers and sings with Taylor Lasley ’08, Jake Goren ’08 and Zoe Johnson ’08 as Community Singers, a community service group that visits and performs for hospitals and senior homes.

“I often don’t see the point of singing something unless you’re able to act and really perform it because otherwise you’re not really fulfilling what the composer often intended,” Hicks said.
Hicks won three singing competitions this year: the Music Center Spotlight Awards, the Southern California Vocal Association solo vocal competition and the Classical Singer competition. He auditioned for the Spotlight Awards last fall and was a semifinalist in both the classical and non-classical categories. He did not move on to the next round after auditioning at the Colburn School on Jan. 27 and Feb. 2. 

Hicks was also a non-classical semifinalist in last year’s Spotlight Awards. He decided to compete at choral director Rodger Guerrero’s suggestion, Hicks said.  

For the SCVA competition, Hicks chose to sing “Après Un Rêve” by Gabriel Faurè. The judges notified him of their decision immediately after his audition.

“It was a great opportunity because you get to hear everyone sing,” Hicks said.

During the audition, Hicks had a chance to watch his friends Lasley and Bryan Kurtzman ’08 sing.
“To tell the truth, I was a little concerned because, after hearing them, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to move on or not,” Hicks said. “They were very good.”

He also placed third in regional auditions for the Classical Singer competition. The auditions were run by Classical Singer magazine and hosted by USC. He has been invited to perform his chosen song, “Amor Ti Vieta,” in New York City in May.

When Hicks was 5, he began attending weekly musical theater classes at The Adderley School. He began receiving private vocal instruction at the age of 8. He has trained for two years with classical singing teacher Clark Harris, who notified him of the Classical Singer competition, and with non-classical instructor Dana Greene for seven years.

Hicks enjoys both classical and non-classical singing styles, but classical “is a lot more disciplined, and it requires a lot more restraint,” Hicks said.