CARY – It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Cary-Grove High School sophomore Breanna Bogucki, and she might just be getting started.
After winning a talent competition in November for people with special needs, the teen with obsessive-compulsive disorder and high-functioning autism has recorded her first single for an upcoming album, which soon will include a music video.
The journey from contestant to professional musician hit a milestone of sorts on Monday when a portion of the music video was filmed at the District 155 high school with the help of students and staff, as well as Bogucki’s friends and supporters.
“I didn’t expect to win, let alone have a song written for me and have it turned into a music video,” said Bogucki, 15. “I love the whole experience and that it is being shot in my hometown. It’s so much more realistic and so cool how everyone is supporting me.”
Bogucki, who now goes by the stage name Breanna Alyssa, won the Special Talents America competition with her rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mean.”
That victory over about 40 performers and eight finalists came with a professional recording session with Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Jim Peterik, known best for several Survivor songs as well as his band, The Ides of March.
Peterik, a judge in the competition, partnered with Lisa McClowry, emcee of the competition and a singer and songwriter, to write an original song for Bogucki to record – “I Was Born Yesterday.”
“Everything has fallen into place since she discovered her gift,” said Peterik, who was at Cary-Grove for the filming of the music video. “She has a future. For how long, I don’t know, but we are hoping for the best.”
The song has been released on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. The music video will be released worldwide.
It focuses on not taking advantage of others and using words carefully, subjects Bogucki is all too familiar with, Peterik said.
“It’s her opportunity to say, ‘I’m fragile, but accept me for who I am,’” Peterik said. “The song is about accepting those who are different.”
Cary-Grove junior Magalie Baker was one of about 50 people to participate in the shooting of the music video Monday.
“I think this is really cool,” said Baker, who befriended Bogucki last year during a lunch period. “This doesn’t happen to everyone, and she is so sweet and deserving of this success.”
Having the music video taped at Cary-Grove was fitting for Bogucki, who performed in front of about 10,000 people at the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics Illinois State Games in Normal earlier this year. She also won five gold medals in artistic gymnastics.
“I’m still in a dream,” said her mother, Mary Ellen Bogucki. “Cary-Grove has been amazing and supported her all the way. They’ve bent over backward to make this [music video] happen.”
Greg Bizzaro, head of Special Talents America and Jaffe Films, donated his time and equipment to film the music video.