Billy Huyler – Here Comes the Sun

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Ali Gogarty
Billy Huyler, Red Oaks Alumnus
They set you up for success – to think creatively, work independently and to keep an open mind toward all types of people and learning styles. I credit the school for my love of travel, adventure and work ethic.” – Billy Huyler, Red Oaks Alumnus

The Red Oaks School has undoubtedly been the place where many dreams have taken root and been nurtured. A vivid testimonial to this is the line that can be drawn from Billy Huyler singing “Here Comes the Sun” in a Red Oaks Earth Day performance to his current career as an opera singer. “It was the first time I ever sang a solo in front of people and the first time I had people telling me they liked my singing.” That was only the beginning – after singing at his Red Oaks graduation, Billy attended Ridgedale Middle School and Hanover Park High School where he was active in the theater and music departments and continued to focus on singing. Billy went on to attend the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he majored in Vocal Music Education and then received his masters in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2018.

Billy joined Sarasota Opera in early 2019, making his debut in La Bohème and was booked for The Princeton Festival for the summer of 2020 until the season was canceled due to COVID-19. As he waits to get back to work, Billy appreciates the independence and self-sufficiency he felt Red Oaks instilled in him. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized more and more how much I was influenced by my time there and the life lessons those teachers imparted,” he mused. “They set you up for success – to think creatively, work independently and to keep an open mind toward all types of people and learning styles. I credit the school for my love of travel, adventure and work ethic.”

Billy recently returned to Red Oaks to perform the song he sang at his own graduation, “For Good” from the musical “Wicked” in which the protagonist sings

“I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...”