The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

Artist of the Issue: Grace Janusz


As a devoted jazz band member, Grace Janusz ’24 has established a familiar presence within the Groton community. Since her arrival on the Circle, Grace has been involved in both playing and writing music. Her dedication has not only taught her how to play jazz, but also how to collaborate, lead, and appreciate the beauty of music.

Who or what served as your source of inspiration for embarking on your musical journey?

I would say my dad. We’d always drive to school every morning and he’d play music on the radio and we’d play a game where I would have to guess the song name so I would try to memorize all the songs on the radio. My family is a really big music family. In elementary school, I thought I’d be so cool if I played the saxophone, and I’ve been playing the instrument ever since. Music for me, whether it’s playing or just listening, is a way for me to express my emotions. I feel as though a lot of my emotions are dictated, or highlighted, through music.

How has Groton fostered your passion for music?

I was able to continue playing saxophone and be in the jazz band, which I don’t know if I would have done if I went to my public school. Additionally, the resources here are off the chain. The jazz band performs at House of Blues. I went to Japan with the Jazz Band GEO. They have the music recording studio downstairs and I’m down there all the time.

Could you recount a particularly noteworthy performance experience affiliated with Groton, or perhaps a cherished moment that has resonated with you?

I always think about the Jazz Band GEO. It was just wonderful. Ever since I was little, I always said that Tokyo is my dream place to visit. I had begged [Director of Jazz Ensembles] Kenji [Kikuchi] to go to Tokyo for this Japan GEO. I sat next to this 60-year-old woman and we were playing with each other and would just laugh and point at stuff because none of us could understand each other.

Have you won an award, or completed a project recently, or released music?

I recently released an album. You can really see the growth in my music. It’s really a journey of all this stuff that I was learning and just having fun. And, I made most of it here. I made most of it in the recording lab downstairs and one of my big things is I wanted all my friends to be on it. I would bring my mic to the senior section, run around and have people sing into my mic.

What advice would you offer to Groton students who have any musical interest?

If you want to play an instrument, Groton is the place to start because they have all these opportunities. If you want to get into making music, or playing guitar, don’t be afraid to reach out to Kenji or Ms. Lanier [Performing Arts Department Head Mary Ann Lanier]. They’ll help you. They’ve been very helpful for me. Also, just take advantage of the resources you have here because we’re so lucky to be in a place that has a full recording studio and six drum sets and all these guitars that no one ever uses. And just have fun.

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