Highland School of Technology
Music Education (choral)
Career Plans & Goals
After graduation I hope to find a teaching position at a school for choir. My goal is to teach middle school choir and eventually go on to achieve my Master’s, however I am not sure in which specific area yet.
Some of the activities and clubs I participate in at UNCG are the UNCG Francophiles Club, I am a member of SAI (professional music fraternity), I am a University Marshal, and I am a member of Alpha Lambda Delta(one of our academic honors chapters). Outside of UNCG, I am involved at Mercy Hill Church.
Why did you choose UNCG and specifically UNCG for the Arts?
I chose UNCG specifically the music program. I had attended the UNCG Summer Music Camp a few times, and I through that program I fell in love with the UNCG’s music program because they kept me connected through other events and performances. When I decided I wanted to go to college for music I was already aware of UNCG because of their summer camp. I also knew many musicians who recommended UNCG, one of them was my high school band director who had graduated from UNCG with a Bachelor’s degree in music education.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
Not at all. I never would have predicted how easy it would be to become involved in the CVPA community. After I made the decision to attend UNCG, all I focused on was the music program and I had thought I would simply take the classes I needed, do a few performances, graduate, and then find a teaching position. It wasn’t until I lived in Studio 91 and saw the larger community with the CVPA that I started to explore all there was being offered in the CVPA. I think the biggest change in myself from my freshmen year to now is that I have confidence in trying something new and going outside of my comfort zone. I was not expecting to become this attached to UNCG to the point where it no longer feels like school, but something that is now apart of me.
My sophomore year (2019-2020) has had many awesome experiences that I want to include that entire year, even the half with COVID because of how hard my professors worked to ensure that we could still have meaningful class time. In Fall 2019, the choirs did a lot of large concerts together. There was our annual Collage concert, but we also had our annual Harvest Home concert and an extra one where we were able to perform with the Orchestra. Having that collaboration between the choirs and other ensembles within the School of Music was so rich and rewarding, its why we do music. Later that year at the start of the spring semester, I was able to perform with a friend of mine. He composed a piece and it was included in the composition studio’s recital, so that was a special performance to be apart of as well.
What surprised you?
What surprised me was the support of the faculty and how they never turned you away. Anytime I had an idea or was interested in a class, I was also told “yes” or “let’s look into it”. To this day, my lessons professor continues to ask me if I still enjoy being at UNCG because he really wants me to graduate loving music and being satisfied with my education, and you don’t always get professors and advisors who are that supportive and encouraging of you and your education.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I had so many people help me get to where I am now. I could not have done this on my own. First of all my advisors (Sidney Stretz, Jennifer Reich, Dr. McKoy and others) have helped me to stay on track with my degree as well as helped me find wiggle room to explore in some other subjects like French. The beautiful thing about the School of Music is you truly get to know everyone, and all my friends/peers I have met through the program have also been an enormous help. With all the homework and practicing, it can be overwhelming so having a group of people who understand what that is like helped me through a lot. My parents have also been very supportive of me and have encouraged me to go after the things I have been interested in. Of course the professors have also been very helpful, even after I have taken their class I still see most of my previous professors and I have even gone to a few of them for guidance about the field.
What do you think you will miss the most after you graduate?
I think I will miss the constant flow of performances and watching everyone grow into extremely talented musicians. Being able to walk in the practice rooms and hear all of my peers practicing, performing for one another, and taking breaks at Tate Street Coffee. I will miss how easy it is to simply run into a friend, a familiar face, because those small interactions can quickly brighten my day and I will miss having those.
Advice for the incoming class?
My advice is to soak it all in, do not try to rush things or mimic what you see upperclassmen doing. This is your college experience so take hold of the things that interest you. My biggest advice is to try and stay on campus especially during the weekends because its then when you’ll meet up with your classmates to go to performances, or explore Greensboro and really build relationships with your classmates. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your faculty and professors, that is what they are here for. Finally, go after the things that spark your curiosity. If there is a dance class, athletic class, or other lecture class you really want to try go for it, ask your advisor for assistance with registration. Or if there is a club you really want to join even if it is not related to your major, still do it this is your chance to try new things.
Describe the moment you knew you UNCG was for you (or alternatively the moment you knew you were in the right major):
I did not know UNCG was right for me until later on. It was the end of my freshmen year when I really began to feel like I made the right choice in UNCG. By that time I had a solid, supportive group of friends, I had just become a CVPA ambassador and a Peer Guide for Studio 91, and I was planning to study abroad. I’ll be honest I did not feel like a music major, I felt like a typical college student. When COVID-19 began, it wasn’t until Fall 2020 that I began to really appreciate all the events and the effort the CVPA does to provide such a creative and active community. Even with being online the CVPA remained active which was impressive, but like everyone else in the world I do miss all the in-person experiences like bumping into a familiar face during class changes.
Your favorite place on campus and why?
I have so many favorite places on campus, we are really lucky with how well the campus is kept up by the UNCG landscapers. I really love the pond by the music building, especially right now because you often hear other students practicing outside and there is something magical about hearing a solo trumpet or cello playing amongst all the other typical outside sounds you hear. There are also so many plants and flowers around, you might even spot a deer or rabbits because it is right by Peabody Park.
Your favorite professor or class and why?
I really loved Guy Capuzzo’s music theory IV class because he has a good balance of listening, analyzing, composing, and performing music. You can tell he loves music (and music theory) extremely. He is really conscious of making sure everyone in the class is understanding the concepts because they are challenging, but he also wants to see you succeed. I also really love the Music History III class with Dr. Guillen because I loved learning about the Romantic Era composers.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience at UNCG and in your major that you think prospective students should know about?
As an incoming freshmen I was so excited and eager to become as involved as I could and to be like the upperclassmen who were leaders my first year. I tried this and I experienced a burnout, so do take your time and know that is okay to simply absorb everything because you will find your role within the CVPA and your own path at your own time. It is also okay to not do everything, to say no to somethings so you can have time to hang out with friends or sit down and eat a meal.
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