Singer-Songwriter Charlotte Um Wins Talent Show


At last week’s inaugural Community Service Talent Show—which raised over $600 for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation—eighth-grader Charlotte Um took home first place with her original song, Dream.

Um started playing piano at age 7, and she began singing four years ago. “Music helps me express my emotions in different ways,” she says. “It’s always been hard for me to express my feelings, but I’m an emotional person so I think music helps me release those emotions in a way that’s peaceful and also makes me happy.”

While writing Dream, Um explains, “all the emotions just exploded out.” The song didn’t take long to write, and she jotted down the lyrics after awaking from… well, a dream. It took Um a few months to polish the music.

So far, Um has written just the one song—but this summer, she plans to keep the creative juices flowing. “I’m looking at some of my favorite artists and trying to use their songwriting techniques to help me,” she says.

After Um’s performance, talent show judge Anders O’Neill ’16 expressed his thoughts. “Amazing. You have a great voice. Really good song, and I can only imagine where you’ll take things from here.” Fellow classmate Emma Hastings, who also sat behind the judge’s table, shared similar sentiments. “So, when’s your first album coming out?”

Um is also grateful for the training she has received from music teachers Landon Rose and Frank Van Atta, who continue to cultivate her evolving talent.

The Community Service Club (CSC) recently received special recognition from the Parents of Independent School Network. “They were very impressed with what we have been able to accomplish this year within our community,” CSC Co-Director Dora Garcia ’15 said, noting how proud she is or her organization’s accomplishments in its first year. “They hope that our achievements serve as an example of what students could do to help in their community.”