What did you study at the University of Alabama?
- I originally came as a Music Therapy major but ended up graduating with a degree in Flute Performance and German.
How would you describe your experience as an undergraduate student at UA?
- The best word to describe my experience is transformative. There were a lot of ups and downs as I struggled with deciding what I really wanted to do in the future. I learned a lot about who I was and who I wanted to become. The faculty was incredibly supportive and caring. They genuinely want you to succeed at whatever you decide to do.
You studied for 4 ½ years under Dr. Diane Boyd Schultz. How has your time with her shaped you as a performer?
- Schultz is one of the main reasons I decided to pursue Flute Performance and I will forever be grateful for her guidance and inspiration. She was always very supportive and helped me realize my potential as a flutist.
What are some performance opportunities you have had since graduating from UA?
- Since graduating I have been given the opportunity to play principal on several famous works; examples include Daphnis et Chloe, Death and Transfiguration, A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and Pictures at an Exhibition. I was part of the pit for IU’s spring ballet and I occasionally gig. I recently got to sub for a pops concert with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra! Additionally, I just returned from a three-week tour with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, where I collaborated with about 40 exceptionally talented musicians from across the world.
You are currently attending Indiana University for a MM in Music Performance. Do you feel that your education at UA adequately prepared you to audition for and attend such a reputable graduate institution?
- Yes! I will forever be grateful for my music history and theory classes (even if I complained about them a lot). Because of them, I was able to pass my entrance exams. Working on so many orchestral excerpts with Dr. Schultz was also incredibly beneficial. I had to play five orchestral excerpts for my audition at IU, and I will always remember how I walked into my first lesson with my teacher at IU and him saying, “I remember you; you were the one with the really good Voliere (Carnival of the Animals) excerpt!”
What are some projects that you have coming in the next academic year?
- I am planning on furthering my education with either a PhD or DMA (maybe both!), so I will be looking into other music programs and flute professors. Right now the goal is to perform and study internationally, but we will see what the future has in store for me! Soon, I’ll be applying for 2018 summer programs. I am also toying with the idea of competing in the concerto competition at IU, but we will see…
What are your eventual career goals?
- At the end of the day, I want to be in a professional orchestra, but I would also be happy teaching at the collegiate level!
What advice would you give to a high school student who is considering a degree in Music Performance?
- Make sure you do your research about which schools you want to go to, and try to find a teacher you think you’d be compatible with (musically and personally). If possible, set up a lesson with your potential future professor. Being a music performance major isn’t easy, so make sure to give it some serious thought before you commit to it. That being said, changing majors is okay! College is all about trying new things and finding what you were meant to do. I came to school convinced that I wanted to do one thing, and ended up finding my passion in another area of the music building. It was the best decision I could have made for myself!
What are you listening to?
Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony for two reasons: A) it is a FANTASTIC piece and B) I have to play it for this upcoming semester’s audition. (Flute players understand my struggle!) I’ve also been playing my technique exercises to the beat of Electro-swing songs. Give it a try sometime!