Junior music major Peter J. Vecellio plays the clarinet, the piano and sings. He hopes to one day teach music to aspiring artists.
Q. How did you end up choosing to attend SCSU? What do you intend on doing with your music degree?
A. I chose to attend Southern because I like New Haven, the tuition is affordable, and I could commute easily. I want to continue to perform, record, but eventually become certified to teach music.
Q. What instruments do you play? When did the interest spark and how exactly did it all start for you?
A. I play a B-flat clarinet, know my way around a piano/keyboard and will sing. I chose the clarinet because of its sound. I would always noodle around with my uncle and aunt’s piano, and my family would learn songs to sing directed by my grandfather, this was all in early childhood.
Q. When was the first moment you realized that this is something you love doing?
A. For me it’s more about being something I’m capable of doing. A few years ago I realized that sharing this form of intelligence could lead to a career in education as well as entertainment but it is very hard work.
Q. Tell us about your most memorable moment being a musician. When was it and what made it so special?
A. My most recent memorable moment involved being able to sing and play an original song at a local venue in my hometown. It was over winter break and was special because I was able to incorporate clarinet and vocals in the same performance, something which I had not quite synthesized, but always kept as separate skills.
Q. What else do you do that most people may not know about you?
A. I like to read books which relate to psychology, specifically mood and thought disorders. I also like to stay active with swimming, weights, walking, karate and softball but am a bit of a TV/movie watcher.
Q. If you weren’t doing music, where do you think your life would be and why?
A. If I weren’t doing music I might be geared more towards psychology, or even writing, directing and acting. Mental health has become more important to me since I started college, and I also feel capable of expressing myself in words and actions.
Q. Who are your biggest influences in life and what affect have they had on you?
A. My parents have tended to influence me even into my adult life and they have affected me to the point that I recognize my behaviors reflecting theirs.
Q. How does the art of composing music make you feel?
A. Composing music can be an arduous process. Without the education it becomes a sort of free for all and you can come up with some interesting musical ideas. When you start to learn all of the rules of composing for four-part harmony you can make a beautiful sounding piece with an awareness of diatonic chord progressions and tonal center. I anticipate with further study some of these rules will be broken but with a greater palette of musical ideas to compose with.
Q. What is one message you’d like to tell the Southern student body? It can be music or non-music related.
A. My message to the SCSU student body is to find that balance between mind, body and spirit. Stay healthy and if you really can’t play an instrument or sing- which I believe anybody can learn to do to some capacity, than being an open minded listener can be even greater.