Claudia Pollock ’20 Creates Original Songs while Diversifying Musical Taste

Aside from creating arrangements as Co-Head of Keynotes, Claudia Pollock ’20 uses music and songwriiting as an outlet to express her emotions.

After writing and composing an song for a school project on “Romeo and Juliet,” Claudia Pollock ’20 published “Star-Crossed Lovers,” her first ever single, on Spotify. Since then, Pollock has grown both as a singer and a songwriter, writing songs while simultaneously participating in a cappella groups at Andover.

“People actually really liked [the single], so people today will contact me about it and ask if they can sing it, which is really cool. I hope in the near future, I can put out more stuff, because I really like writing music and for other people to listen to it and share it,” said Pollock.

Pollock enjoys expressing her emotions through songwriting, which has become one of her outlets for stress relief while at Andover, and produces mostly ballad-style music.

“I tend to be motivated more when I’m sad or frustrated about something… If I feel like I can’t talk to anyone, I have music to convey what I’m feeling…It’s my best outlet, especially here. When it gets really stressful, that’s like my main thing I can always rely on to keep me sane.” added Pollock.

On campus, Pollock serves as Co-Head of Keynotes, a co-ed a cappella group, which entails creating original arrangements for the group. According to Shyan Koul ’19, also a Co-Head of Keynotes, Pollock is a leader who challenges the group to be their best but at the same time, maintains a fun working environment.

“I really admire Claudia’s ability to quickly find a healthy balance between playfulness and efficiency. She knows exactly when we can relax a little and when we have to get more serious… It helps Keynotes remain a tight-knit group, but also pushes us to be the best we can be,” said Koul in an email to The Phillipian.

Classically trained in piano, Pollock began singing and songwriting as a way to explore music. According to Pollock, songwriting came very naturally to her after learning the fundamentals of music through piano lessons.

“I felt trapped in [classical piano] and I would like to go off on my own and play chord progressions. But I’m so grateful for everything because classical music is such a good background,” Pollock said.

According to Pollock, her music is mostly pop, but she likes to experiment with other styles to diversify the music she creates. Pollock draws inspiration from her friends, female artists like as Ella Fitzgerald, Taylor Swift, Adele, and Alicia Keys, and her parents.

“My mom used to sing and perform, so she inspires me a lot. My dad has no musical talent all, but he’s really into listening to music. He has every single genre of music and I grew up listening to all styles of music around the house,” said Pollock.

Pollock plans to use time over the summer to record and finish some songs that she has now. In the future, Pollock hopes to further her music career by continuing to sing and learn more about music theory.

“[After Andover,] I think I’d like to be in an a capella group because they’re so much fun and it’s a way to sing. I would like to study music and music theory and just learn more about it because I feel that it would really help me improve in music writing,” said Pollock.