Ilisse Gomez would have made Whitney Houston proud at SGA’s QU Idol Competition last week. Gomez’s rendition of Houston’s classic “I Will Always Love You” wowed the crowd in Buckman Theater and landed her a first place trophy.
“I just kind of did it,” said the junior double major in math and secondary education, who says she began singing just for fun.
“My parents always said I was good, but they’re my parents, they have to say that,” said Gomez, whose main support system is from her family in Rockland County, N.Y.
During the competition, Gomez first sang Adele’s “I Found a Boy,” which earned her a spot in the top three.
“I just figured go big or go home,” she said, acknowledging the powerful lyrics she sang.
In high school, Gomez tried out for her school’s musicals and realized her passion for singing.
“I ended up making it, and I was like ‘alright, I guess I’m not that bad,’” Gomez said.
Some of Gomez’s favorite singing roles stem from musicals such as “Les Miserables,” “West Side Story” and “In the Heights” – along with a proud role as a cheese grater in “Beauty and the Beast,” which she jokes about now.
As for her singing career on campus, Gomez is involved with the QU Singers and will star in this year’s cabaret performance with the QU theater group. She is also involved with the Quinnipiac Future Teachers Organization.
Gomez finally showcased her skills at the competition on March 26. Both the crowd and fellow competitor, junior Andrea Rogers, were equally surprised with her talent.
“I had heard about her amazing voice, but I hadn’t experienced it until SGA’s QU Idol,” Rogers said.
“When Ilisse performed ‘I Will Always Love You,’ I could feel what she was feeling, and it was amazing. Her control and her poise were impressive, and she is most deserving of the title of QU Idol,” Rogers said.
Gomez says she has always planned to audition for “American Idol” or “The Voice,” but knows to stay grounded and keep school as her first priority.
“I considered it for a while and then I was like I’m gonna do the school thing first, and do that later,” Gomez said, referring to a possible future in music.
Rogers hopes to see Gomez take the stage once again at next year’s competition.
“I really hope SGA plans to have another QU Idol next year – I look forward to a rematch,” Rogers said.