Artist Spotlight: Autumn Velarde


Autumn Velarde has always had a love for music. Joining choir, Velarde was able to discover a space filled with like-minded individuals who all share the same passion of music and singing.

Cody Flores

Soft melodic notes echo from the grand piano as the singer prepares to sing,  soft vocals echoing from their mouth as if an angel is singing. Autumn Velarde (12) lets their emotions and melody of the piano guide them as they sing. The audience was in awe,  mesmerized by their harmonic vocals. The rest of the Ayala Choir joins in with them and sings a sorrowful song. 

Autumn Velarde is one of the many students at Ayala that takes part in the choir. They are involved in both vocal and mixed choir. Velarde is deeply inspired by music and wants to be a musician, and their friend Lauren Jackson (12) convinced them to join the choir due to their love of music. 

“ I love music and I’ve always aspired to be a better singer and musician. Lauren was actually the one to convince me and they’ve been in choir longer than me,” explained Velarde, “ Seeing how happy it made them to be in the program made me want to try it out.” 

For many people as well dealing with lots in life, finding safe spaces is a must and Velarde found just that in choir and met many individuals they are proud to call friends. Giving us a bit of insight into how choir can bring people together, people are able to bring plushies, be themselves, and talk about anything without being judged. Especially for those who need support in their lives which made Velarde love choir all the more. 

“Several people go to the choir room even just to have a good cry or breakdown in a judgment free zone,” Velarde says. 

While Velarde is in choir, they prefer singing as a hobby of theirs and would sing with their father in the car to their favorite tunes. Their favorite part about choir would be the safe space it provides and the friends that they’ve made. Choir is a place in their opinion that people feel safe and a good place to be understood. While not in choir and supporting their friends, Velarde can be found watching shows they like or recommended to them, They also look for new music that they might enjoy and can play on their ukulele. Other times they are brainstorming stories or looking for a new song to love. 

“Join choir, you won’t regret your decision. You’ll make lifelong friendships, perform for many people, and even get to visit different places in the country for advanced choir.  If you do end up joining, just know there is nothing but kindness and support, do not be afraid to ask for help from others,” said Velarde in terms of encouraging others to join choir.