Freshman Maya Donato has blown Menlo away with her astounding voice at the chorus concert last week meriting her with the title of Artist of the Week. Donato has been singing since the age of four and became involved with musical theater since the age of six after seeing a production of The Lion King produced by Menlo’s own Steven Minning. “[The Lion King] inspired my love for acting and singing,” Donato said.
Donato has performed in many productions varying from the musical Annie to the movie Chasing Mavericks. “I think Chasing Mavericks was a very big accomplishment for me because it was very competitive,” Donato said. “I was also in a production of Coraline and that was an all adults production. I think that was also a big accomplishment too.”
Donato has a passion for singing and acting that has pushed her to strive for these big productions. “I love singing because it is fun and a great thing to do to pass the time. I am always singing and think it makes you a happier person,” Donato said. She is always thinking of music and is singing whenever possible; during breaks, classes and in her free time. However, she also devotes a great deal of time to acting as well. “I really like acting because it allows me to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It is a really awesome challenge. It is very special to see things another way,” Donato said. With Menlo, she has participated in two production. She had a role in Little Shop of Horrors and is currently rehearsing for Pirates of Penzance.
Donato takes the lead on “Operator” by Kirby Shaw in last week’s Spring Chorus Concert. Photo Courtesy Becky Swig.
Donato has also faced challenges with singing and acting. Aside from it being extremely competitive to be a part of all-adult productions, she has struggled with the high demand of being in a show. Performing in various shows a week causes a lot of wear and tear on her voice. “A really big challenge for me is I lose my voice a lot. It tires out very easily,” Donato said.
Donato encourages people taking part in acting and singing because of the opportunities presented. I think everyone at their time at Menlo should try singing and acting because it is a really unique opportunity and you learn a lot from it like self confidence. It is fun to be a part of a group,” Donato said.