Justin CameroPico Rivera, CA
Academic SchoolCommunication & the Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Justin Camero ’20 has loved to sing ever since he was a small child in Pico Rivera, California. A psychology major with minors in music and sociology, Marist has given him outstanding musical opportunities and allowed him to mature as an artist. After graduation, he plans to parlay his love of music and passion for psychology into a career helping others.
Growing up, Camero enjoyed performing at church and liked to sing pop songs from the radio, but he draws a distinction between this and the musical education he has received at Marist. “At Marist, I’ve learned to sing, not just perform. I’ve learned discipline and patience, I’ve learned all that my voice can do and how versatile I can be, and I’ve been exposed to so many types of music, from choral to opera to Broadway standards. Most of all, I’ve learned who I am as a musician.” Camero gives tremendous credit to Director of Choral Activities Sarah Williams, with whom he took private singing lessons, for overseeing his growth and development. “Sarah is phenomenal. With her, I can shine and also be part of something great.” Because of Williams, he has become comfortable reading music and singing complex musical pieces in foreign languages. Camero credits her with giving him the confidence to perform his first solo at Marist, “Not My Father’s Son” from Kinky Boots.
Camero’s newfound skills were put to the test in summer 2018 when he joined Williams and the Marist Singers on a 10-day tour of Austria, where the group of 30 students and recent alumni shared their musical talents in the land of Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert. The Marist Singers gave several public concerts at historic venues in Vienna, Mondsee, Hallstatt, and Eisenstadt before heading to Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg to participate in the World Choral Fest, the aim of which is “bringing the world together in song.” The festival culminated in a dramatic performance of both classic and new choral works inside the elegant Salzburg Cathedral, where the public treated them to a standing ovation. Camero recalls performing choral selections in Vienna’s spectacular St. Stephen’s Cathedral: “All of us were just immersed in the music. In that moment, nothing else existed. The chance to leave my own mark on such a historic place is just amazing.”
Looking ahead, Camero wants to be able to share his joy with others, which is why he plans to become a music therapist, which would combine his passion for music with his passion for psychology. He notes, “I love helping people, so I want to share these experiences with children and let them know that they, too, can have these opportunities. I want them to know that they’re capable of more than they realize and that things can and do get better.” As a psychology major, Camero takes many classes that are preparing him for the future, including Cognitive Neuroscience and Child Development. He adds, “I took another class called The Exceptional Child, which teaches us how to engage with students and children with disabilities. I intend to take other classes, such as Psychology of the Adolescent, to broaden my knowledge base of other age groups. My main focus is learning more about the population I want to work with, namely children of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.” During his senior year, Camero plans to pursue an internship. He will also work with Associate Professor of Psychology Kristin Jay to conduct research on how music affects the human mind, a line of inquiry that will inform what he plans to study in graduate school.
It is clear that Marist has provided Camero with an environment in which he has grown and thrived. In return, he aspires to do the same for others, particularly children, using music as a universal language.