Daddy Warbucks provided Philip Pacelli with his pioneer public vocal performance as a seventh-grade student in Saxe Middle School's theater program. Now a tenor at New Canaan High School looking to study music next year in college, Pacelli reflects on his stint five years ago playing the warmhearted billionaire from the musical "Annie" as the start of it all.
"People were very supportive of what I did, and I just kept doing it," he said.
Today, Pacelli's resume fills four pages. Listed on bright white paper are his past roles, running the gamut from Mayor of Whoville to vocalist in a summer program at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
The saxophone and piano are also part of Pacelli's musical routine. In part, he said his wide-ranging talents helped him earn a senior superlative for "most musical" in the yearbook this year.
"It's very important as a musician to understand where music comes from and how it's created," he said. "It's so important to understand piano because it helps you understand how you should sing this note and hit that note."
And while taking the stage is his passion, and often his duty, he is quick to share the spotlight, too. Pacelli is a member of Magical Music for Life of Fairfield County, a group he said organizes musical projects and performances to raise money for causes like epilepsy and cancer.
"The really nice thing about singing is the community work that goes along with it," he said.
Pacelli said he participated in an event with Harry Connick Jr. that raised about $150,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
And while performing is a passion Pacelli plans to pursue in college and beyond, he also aims to earn a degree in business.
"Confidence and attention to detail are all things that performing have helped me with, but they could be good qualities for business or being a doctor," he said.