The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Through classes, art teachers aim to grow art appreciation

Hidden Harmony

Kayin Bradford unlocks comfort in his two passions: basketball and singing
Ellis Calleri
PERFECT PITCH. Seeing Kayin Bradford in the halls, you wouldn’t know that under the varsity basketball jersey, behind the headphones and on the bike, Kayin is a Bel Canto star who shines in the selective choir and on the court.

In the bustling halls of U-High, there exists a student whose quiet demeanor conceals his talents found on the basketball court and in the choir stands. 

Although his quiet manner may suggest otherwise, junior Kayin Bradford is a hidden gem in Bel Canto, earning accolades for his remarkable solos. Beyond the harmonious melodies, he contributes to the basketball court, proving to be a strong team player. Juggling these diverse passions, Kayin appreciates the rewarding challenge of finding harmony in both his musical and athletic pursuits. 

Kayin found his passion for choir in sixth grade, signing up for choir as a music requirement. As Kayin grew, his passion for singing also continued to grow into a strong presence as a tenor.

“I joined choir in sixth grade and never really looked back,” Kayin said. “I decided to sign up for the high school choir as well and then I joined Bel Canto my sophomore year.”

During distance learning for Kayin’s seventh and eighth grade years, he found that being online made him miss the value and engagement that he found in the choir classroom during in-person school.

“I kind of messed around during choir remote learning,” Kayin said. “But by the end, I actually really missed the class because my teachers were fun and I found the class engaging. It made me realize that I really loved singing.”

Skye Freeman

Kaavya Peddinti, a junior and choirmate of Kayin’s, said that although he may be quiet at times, Kayin has been able to find a voice for himself both on and off stage.

“Everyone within Bel Canto are friends, but Kayin is mostly considered the funny one,” Kaavya said. 

The tenor section, though small in size, emanates an intense and competitive atmosphere within Bel Canto. The scarcity of voices in this section heightens the demand for excellence among its members.

“The tenor section is significantly smaller. They only have about four people,” Kaavya said. “That means that each person has a bigger role to contribute to Bel Canto.”

Despite the competitive nature of the tenor section, Kayin has been able to sing multiple solos for Bel Canto, even winning awards for them. During his time in competition choir last year, Kayin performed for the IHSA Music Solo Award, which ranks students from five divisions. Kayin’s solo performance earned top marks in his division.

“I was really proud of myself when I found out I won. Freshman year I would have never imagined I could do something like this,” Kayin said. “When I actually saw the award it shocked me and made me realize I could really do great things with music.”

Kayin has watched music become a part of his everyday life, creating a secure and enjoyable space that he can depend on.

“Even if I’m just listening to music, it feels safe and comfortable for me,” Kayin said. “It’s relaxing and soothing being in that music environment.”

In addition to his achievements in the realm of choir, Kayin demonstrates his talents on the basketball court as well. Kayin found his passion for basketball in the second grade, and is now a member of the varsity boys basketball team.

“In the second grade, my mom and dad signed me up for basketball,” Kayin said. “I remember getting a mini hoop and that’s when I really fell in love with the game. By the third grade I played with the middle school basketball team.”

Junior Noah Hoereth has been playing basketball with Kayin since middle school. Noah sees Kayin as a strong presence on the team, always providing teammates with positivity and energy.

“I’d say Kayin definitely has a connection with everyone on the team,” Noah said. “He’s super easy to talk to on and off the court, always bringing good energy.”

Despite his quiet demeanor, Kayin has proven himself a leader on both varsity and JV teams this year.

“Sometimes Kayin can be quiet,” Noah said, “but when he does talk he always has something meaningful to say.”

Despite having a passion for both singing and basketball, Kayin finds it challenging to commit to both sports. Between practices and competitions, Kayin has trouble navigating his demanding schedule.

“Already this year I’ve had to miss a couple practices just because of choir performances,” Kayin said. “It’s definitely difficult trying to navigate both, but it’s worth it in the end.”

Although managing both Bel Canto and basketball can be difficult for Kayin, the two have made a harmony within his life that he appreciates.

“I had to learn how to manage both choir and basketball,” Kayin said. “It was a challenge but it was also super helpful. They have both created a sort of balance in my life that I really like. I really love both groups, and I have learned a lot over the last couple years on how to find a good balance.”

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About the Contributors
Milo Platz-Walker, Reporter
Milo Platz-Walker is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as a reporter. He joined the staff as a ninth grader in 2021 and returned as a junior. Outside of journalism, Milo competes in karate, listens to music and spends time with friends and family.
Ellis Calleri, Photographer
Ellis Calleri is a member of the class of 2025 and is a beginning photojournalist. His favorite part of photojournalism is being able to grow his skills and knowledge of photography. Outside of photojournalism, Ellis enjoys working with metal and wood. He also enjoys Legos, gaming, hiking and photography.

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