Lots of people have a talent — something they do really well. It takes some people years to discover what they’re good at, but that’s far from the case with Fairmont High School freshman Alex Wunder.
Wunder’s talent for singing became evident at a very young age. “I’ve been humming non-stop since I was 3. When I was 6, I sang at the Alter Fest just for fun, but everyone loved it and that’s when I realized this is what I want to do,” said Wunder.
Many youngsters try something new, then discover another activity and ditch the old, but not Wunder. “I wanted to start my singing career immediately,” he said. “When I was 7, I went to the Fraze to compete in a contest. That was just the beginning.”
Recruiting begins early
When Wunder was only in the seventh grade, Fairmont choir teacher Brody McDonald recruited him from Van Buren Middle School to play major roles in Fairmont’s annual spring musicals, something that had never been done before. “It was weird because I really didn’t think I was that good until McDonald talked to me and said Fairmont’s musicals need me,” said Wunder. “He opened my eyes to what I could really do with singing.”
Wunder’s parents hesitated about allowing him to sing and participate in high school musicals at such a young age. But Wunder said he never felt so welcomed. “Everyone was so embracing when I came to rehearsals. No one cared about what grades you got in school or how old you are. They realized I could sing and were so excited,” said Wunder. “I’ve made so many new friends.”
Competitions boosts emotions
Aside from tackling his freshman year and working toward the 2013 musical production, Wunder also continues to compete in many singing competitions in not only Ohio, but also Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. Through these competitions, Wunder has won around 30 different awards.
Wunder says he doesn’t get nervous very often, but when he’s up on stage waiting to see if he has placed – or better yet, won, a sense of nervousness encircles him. “It’s extremely weird because my heart starts pumping super fast. I also thought people were crazy for saying they feel as if time stops,” he said. “But they are so right. I literally feel like time has stopped.”
Support pushes Wunder forward
Wunder says the support he receives from his parents helps him move forward to be a better singer and learn from his mistakes. “My mom can look for hours for different competitions, trying to put things together. They support me a lot, and without my parents, I would not be singing the way I am now,” he said.
Unlike many others, Wunder tries to embrace the mistakes he makes during a competition or even in choir class at Fairmont. He even looks forward to learning exactly what he did wrong, studying it, and making sure to correct all his mistakes for the next time.
“My parents will film me singing at my competitions so afterwards I can go home and watch them over and over again until I nail down exactly what I have done wrong. Then I practice that mistake until I no longer make it again,” he said. “This really helps to advance my voice as well as the places I get in competitions.”
Wunder wishes to continue his singing career as well as pursuing all competitions that come his way. He plans on doing so by never giving up and continuously practicing because he “can always be a step behind. All the work I’ve done to get to the point where I am now has been put to good use, and I haven’t taken a break in two years,” Wunder said.
“I can always be improving.”