The food-service employee from Russo’s Market in Watertown who went viral after his songs became a massive hit online, is now a step closer to achieving his dream of a career in music.
Guilherme Assuncao said he found out that he was accepted in Berklee College of Music’s undergraduate program, just months after school officials gave him a shot at a live audition so he could secure a spot as a member of the class of 2022.
“I cried a little bit,” said Assuncao, who came to the U.S. in 2015 and is here on a student visa. “And then the first thing I did was I called my grandmother in Brazil. I woke her up, because it was almost 2 a.m. there, and I told her, and she was super proud of it.”
Assuncao surprised his colleagues when he did a sound test of the equipment that in-store performers were going to use at Russo’s for the holiday season.
Video of Assuncao singing “Hallelujah,” Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partirò,” and “O Holy Night” were posted to social media, and quickly went viral.
The Berklee officials then asked him to apply, he then went for an audition and interview. He said the e-mail from Berklee landed in his mailbox while he was playing video games. When Assuncao, who’s a student at Boston’s Computer Systems Institute, saw the subject line indicating his admissions decision was ready, he stopped breathing. The e-mail prompted him to check Berklee’s website to find out if he had been accepted.
“I logged in, and there was a button that said ‘Your Decision,’” he said. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to open it. I don’t want to find out.’ I was super scared, because it’s like my dream. Was I good enough to be accepted to my dream school? Every kid goes through that when they’re applying to college.”
He clicked the button, and got his answer: “Congratulations,” he said it read. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” said Assuncao. “My heart stopped.”
However, he still has a bit to do to realise his dream. He now has to figure out how to pay for his educational opportunity.
Since he is an international student, he is not eligible for federal student loans. He has no scholarship funds too.
Still, Assuncao, who credits the public and the viral videos for opening doors for him, is moving ahead and exploring his options. His hope is to begin school at Berklee in September, finances permitting.
“I have to make a decision as soon as possible,” he said. “As of right now, I’m on my way to Berklee to check for opportunities for other scholarships, and what I can apply for and what I can do.”
Let us wish him the very best and hope he finds a way to make it through with flying colours.