City College Applied Music student finds her voice through singing

Sophie+Bakaev+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+13+2020%2C+in+the+Drama%2FMusic+Building+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.

August lawrence

Sophie Bakaev on Thursday, Feb. 13 2020, in the Drama/Music Building at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

August Lawrence, Staff Writer

At eight-years-old, City College student Sophie Bakaev was featured on local radio after scoring second place at a Unity Shoppe Telethon. At the age of 10, she was one of the youngest students to be enrolled at the Santa Barbara Music and Arts Conservatory.

“It’s just what I’m good at,” said Bakeav. “Singing has always been part of my life.”

Bakaev is fluent in both English and Russian and is the only child of Russian software engineers who immigrated to America for career opportunities.

Music has always been a part of her life, whether it was in a band, or performing on stage. Currently, Bakaev is studying vocal technique at City College’s Applied Music program.

Her favorite artists include Queen, Depeschmode and singer Joyce DiDonato.

Bakaev first sang at five-years-old when she was given a solo role in a summer camp showcase. Her performance of “Tomorrow” impressed both her parents and local professionals.

Bakaev’s father had quit piano on the advice of his teacher, while her mother had no musical inclinations whatsoever.

“We were all surprised, my family had no idea I could sing,” Bakaev said as she laughed. “But I remember liking the people clapping.”

After graduating from high school, she got into USCB, Skidmore and University of Denver but chose City College because it was close to home and made more financial sense.

Around the Music Department, Bakaev is known as professional and supportive.

“She knows her music,” said duet partner and pianist Jay Real.

She has performed around town with the Chamber and Women’s quires and currently gives vocal lessons to lowerclassmen.

Liana Rodriguez, whom Bakaev affectionately calls “Lulu,” is a vocal student in Bakaev’s year.

“She’s very helpful and selfless,” said Rodriguez. “Just easy to get along with.”

Around the Music Department the two are known as best friends.

Coming up, Bakaev has an audition for Cal State Northridge.

“Music is where I thrive,” Bakaev said.