Major: Music Performance—percussion
Hometown: Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Further Degrees: M.M., Percussion, Rowan University, and D.M.A., Percussion, Rutgers University (in progress)
Current Employers: Rutgers University, percussion department assistant; Westminster Conservatory, percussion teacher
(Student to present Steve Reich’s "Music for 18 Musicians" March 5 at Nicholas Music Center)
The most important enhancing experiences while at IUP: Aspen Music Festival and School—many thanks to the RECHC Achievement Fund—if I hadn't gone there, I would have never gotten a chance to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra. (I can't even begin to describe what it feels like to live a dream, but there I was last June, on stage with my teachers and playing with the orchestra I love . . . unreal.)
About My Major: The best part about being a percussionist at IUP was realizing how much I didn't know and how much I still had to learn. I moved out East with an open mind and a fire to absorb as much as I possibly could.
HC Impact: I had to work so hard to survive Core and music classes—those first two/three years were incredibly challenging, and I'm not sure I would have made it. I'm quite sure that the only reason I did was because of the support system that was provided for me because of living in the Honors College dorm with people who were simply incredible. I still remember those first few years—living and learning purely by the seat of my pants, churning out responses to readings on the fly, learning to write and speak efficiently, leaving classes with more questions than answers . . . the Core classes opened my mind to so many systems of thought and instilled in me a desire to continue expanding my mind long after I was finished with non-music courses. In terms of other experiences, I'm still reaping the benefits of attending the Aspen Music Festival and School years later—the people I met, the music I played, the life experiences I had—those summers were my favorite! I have never experienced a place like the Honors College since I left. Not everyone I've encountered has had experiences such as mine, so I feel quite fortunate to have traveled this path.
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