Sharing a Gift: Profile on Vocalist and Performer Giao Vu Dinh ’20

Many people recognize Giao Vu Dinh ’20, a V Former from Singapore, from her musical performances at school meetings and Allegro shows.

Many people recognize Giao Vu Dinh ’20, a V Former from Singapore, from her musical performances at school meetings and Allegro shows. Before coming to Lawrenceville, Vu Dinh performed primarily as a solo artist, yet since then, she has learned much more about collaborative singing. Co-President of Rouge, Lawrenceville’s female a cappella group, as well as a member of The Larries, Lawrenceville’s co-ed a cappella group, Vu Dinh has sung with the Lawrentians since her III Form year and has also taken an interest in musical theater, participating in the past three musical productions: Guys and Dolls, Urinetown, and Sweeney Todd. She first became involved with music when she was four years-old, taking up piano lessons and then singing one year later.

Vu Dinh began singing as a child to the songs of well-known artists such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. She then transitioned to performing on stage during school events including parent gatherings and special assemblies.

Vu Dinh started singing competitively when she was seven years-old after submitting a video of her rendition of “Over the Rainbow” to an English singing competition in Vietnam, where she eventually placed second overall. One year later, she auditioned for the first season of Vietnam’s Got Talent. Failing to qualify initially in the pre-elimination rounds, she ultimately advanced to the next round and placed as a finalist that season after given the opportunity to try again the following month.

After competing, Vu Dinh decided not to fully commit to the singing industry. She attended school while taking various singing jobs, guest performing at a nationally televised show commemorating Vietnam Independence Day, the Ho Chi Minh City Independence Palace and the Saigon Opera House, and other vocal competitions such as The Voice Kids Vietnam.

Vu Dinh’s parents are two of many who have inspired her since her musical journey, encouraging her to pursue her passion and to remain resilient. She also looks up to many of the faculty in the Lawrenceville Music Department, including Chair of Performing Arts Keith Roeckle, Director of Music Robert Palmer, and her vocal teacher, Laura Heimes.

Since coming to Lawrenceville, Vu Dinh has been involved in Lawrentians, the Harvard Summer Choir, the Allegro Council, Rouge, Larries, and musical theater productions. Many “fellow students I have met here, especially upperclassmen [have shown] me that you can be successful at Lawrenceville by pursuing a passion in singing,” Vu Dinh said, “Through my experiences both back then and at Lawrenceville, I have learned that being a professional singer is not the career I want to have for many reasons.” While she loves performing music, Vu Dinh has many other interests in subjects outside of music and would like to keep her career choices open. Her experiences in the professional music world have also made her realize that the industry is multifaceted and contains different kinds of people that may not match her personality. She is interested in having a career where her interests in music and computer science are combined because she loves how performance allows her to express herself to others. She worries that she could potentially lose her love for the craft if she depended on it as her main source of income. “It’s a form of escape for me, and it’s something I love, and I don’t want to be turned into another mindless person who just does it for the money or for the fame, because it’s never been about that. At the end of the day, I don’t sing for anyone else—I sing for myself,” Vu Dinh said.

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