Wednesday October 11, 2017

Student Profile: Adam Cepeda

University of Dayton senior and Guam native Adam Cepeda spent his summer working on the staged reading of the Marianist musical Spectacle, which tells the story of William Joseph Chaminade’s experience persevering through persecution during the French Revolution and establishing the Society of Mary in 1817.

Cepeda was selected for the challenging role of Commander Fouché, the police minister who doggedly pursues Chaminade.

“I’ve always wanted to be the bad guy,” he said.

Cepeda was up for the challenge, said Nick Cardilino, associate director of campus ministry, and co-writer of the musical.

“He conjured up a character that is conniving, manipulative and malicious — everything that is the opposite of who he is — and pulled it off in a way that was believable,” Cardilino said.

Growing up in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, Cepeda had a strong passion for music. His love has always been the guitar, among other instruments. Cepeda participated in the Guam Territorial Band as a high school student, which first brought him to the U.S. mainland in his senior year. His mother wanted him to attend a Catholic university to further his faith. Initially, Cepeda considered the University of Dayton’s sister school, Chaminade University of Honolulu.

“I opted out of Chaminade because I didn’t want to go from one island to another,” Cepeda said. “I wanted to experience something different — I wanted to live through all four seasons, and see snow.”

After further research, he discovered the University of Dayton, applied and was admitted.

“I don’t think it was coincidence that I ended up here,” he said.

As a first-year student at the University, Cepeda wanted to pursue a mechanical engineering degree. But his path changed sophomore year when he switched majors to mathematics. Still unsure of what he wanted to major in his junior year, he began taking music classes.

“I had a feeling in my heart that I wanted to pursue some avenue of music,” he said. At the beginning of his senior year he became a music major and plans to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in May 2018.

Unfortunately, with a 16-hour plane ride, Cepeda does not return home often. Instead, he has found a home in Dayton and has become involved both on and off campus. Not only has Cepeda played a large role in Spectacle, but he is also a member of University Chorale, Ebony Heritage Singers, and the World Music Choir. He also serves as choir director for Bellbrook, Ohio, Presbyterian Church.

He participated in Spectacle through the Dean’s Summer Fellowship Program, which provides undergraduate students with high-impact experiential learning opportunities and an allowance for summer living expenses. The staged reading included less stage movement and all black dress, instead of costumes. The full musical will be performed April 20-22, 2018.

Cepeda’s post-graduation plans include staying in Dayton and pursuing a career in either music composition or performance, particularly for Christmas music.

“Being a music student, there are a lot of things I want to do,” he said. “I would really love to perform, and make music for people, make people smile and fill them with joy.”

- Lauren Reid ‘18

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