He’s been described as the “…the gateway drug to classical music“—and it’s no wonder, after Daniel Emmet (’15) wowed judges and audiences alike with his powerhouse performances on America’s Got Talent, putting an operatic spin on songs like Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.
This young classical crossover sensation and Chapman vocal performance alumnus returns to his alma mater on March 6 for a fun evening of light classical and pops music with The Chapman Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Alfred Wachs.
We caught up with Daniel prior to one of the concert rehearsals to ask him about his time at Chapman as a vocal performance major:
Q: What about your Chapman experience best prepared you for success?
A. I would say the best thing about Chapman is that it prepared me for life now as a working musician in that [I had] so many different opportunities while [I was] here. Students at Chapman get the opportunity to perform in a variety of venues, a variety of different types of music, from pop to opera, all the way to everything that I do now. Tonight I’m working with the Orchestra; I was in choir when I was here, I went on the choir tours, I was part of the opera program, the a capella club, all kinds of different things. And of course who can forget Chapman Celebrates because that is one of the most incredible events that any student in the College of Performing Arts can be part of.
Q. How do you think Chapman has changed since you were a student?
A. Well, you have Musco Center now, so I think Chapman has changed a little since I’ve been here. It’s just continued to grow and evolve into an even better [university]. The facilities are bigger and better, and it’s just a bigger school and growing in reputation as well. When I say to people “I went to Chapman,” they say “Oh, you went there?!” Back when I was here the school was still developing a name, so it’s really heartening to see how it has grown.
Q. What advice would you have for current students who want to pursue careers in music?
A. Go to every class, that would be my advice (laughs). Take every opportunity that you can at Chapman. The teachers and faculty are here to give you all the tools that they have to be successful in life. And if you take those tools, there’s no limit to what you can do.
Q. Is there anything you want to tell us about the concert on March 6?
A. It’s a night full of surprises, and it’s a lot of fun music. We’re gonna have a great time, it’s low-key. We’re going to have some classics, some pop, and it’s gonna be a blast!
The 7:30 p.m. March 6 program features the full Chapman Orchestra performing works by Verdi, Ravel, and Charpentier, with soloists Sandra Bouissou (’21), violin (winner of the 2019 Chapman Instrumental Music Competition); Ava Narayan (’20), soprano (winner of the 2019 Chapman Vocal Music Competition); and Daniel performing light classical and pops selections which will be announced from the Musco Center stage.
Daniel will have limited copies of his new 5-song EP, including Passerà, available for purchase after the show.
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for seniors, alumni, and non-Chapman students, and $5 for Chapman students, faculty, and staff.