Student spotlight: Fredy Bonilla M.M. '25

February 8, 2024

Who are you?
I am Fredy Bonilla M.M. ‘25. I’m from Houston, Texas, and my background is in choral music education. I taught high school choir for seven years and sang for different area churches, mostly at Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal. I also sang with different professional ensembles in the Houston area, like Cantare Houston and even the Houston Grand Opera Chorus for a season.

What are you doing at the ISM?
I sing bass as a member of the Yale Voxtet. We’re an octet of graduate voice students, in the Early Music, Oratorio and Chamber Ensemble degree program. It’s a select group of singers who go through a lot of musical training for solo and ensemble performance. We learn a wild amount of music from early music to new works. We sing as a small ensemble and as members of Yale Schola Cantorum.

Photo: Fredy and fellow choir members canting evensong in Edinburgh, Scotland.

What does the ISM mean to you?
To me the ISM is an opportunity to explore more. Many graduate vocal programs focus on opera, and while that career path is exciting and notable, I never caught the singing actor bug. My favorite moments of singing are with the ensemble and with concert works. I appreciate that the ISM offers a program where there is sacred music and new music, musical discussion of how it affects people and society through spirituality, and more chances to play and explore. I like to emphasize play, because we get too serious in music.

What’s notable and coming up?
I’ll be a soloist in the upcoming Yale Schola Cantorum Concert on Feb. 17, Holy is the True Light, singing Dieterich Buxtehude’s Jesu meine Freude, Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands, and Herbert Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi.

Photo: Fredy singing with Yale Schola Cantorum in Woolsey Hall, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki.  Photo by Harold Shapiro.