As an undergraduate student, have you had any particularly unique or memorable experiences?
I don't think I could narrow it down to just one! Performing in UB's production of "Dido and Aeneas" was eye-opening, and taught me a lot about what it takes to put on even a low-stress operatic production. I love the opportunity to perform alongside my friends in various capacities, including in impromptu ensembles such as an early music vocal quartet I helped to form. Most recently, I have loved being able to go to New York City with the UB Choir. Really, all of my experiences here have been incredible, and I look forward to making even more memories in my final two years.
Do undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor?
My voice professor, Tiffany Du Mouchelle, has become a strong mentor for me. Her instruction and guidance have allowed my voice to blossom into a refined instrument, and every day it grows and matures even more. Her influence in my student life has gone far beyond simply vocal instruction: she offers me advice on how to handle my performances and scheduling, helps me with music I work on outside of lessons, and offers wisdom about the industry and field in which I study. I have grown to really appreciate and take seriously her opinions and thoughts, and she has become a very important performance and life coach for me.
What would you say to potential undergraduate students who aren't sure if the UB Department of Music is the right place for them?
When searching for schools, I wasn't expecting to enter full-time into a music program. I auditioned at several colleges and universities, but my intention was always to major in another subject area and do music on the side, either as a minor or simply a hobby. When I came to UB and realized how much the music program actually had to offer, I was immediately drawn in. The small class sizes, friendly professors and staff, and very supportive environment made me feel at home and at ease. It was unlike the conservatory schools at which I had auditioned, which often gave the feeling of being stressfully competitive or having an overly large enrollment in which students didn't have the opportunity to be treated as individuals. At UB, I felt the music department was a safe and comfortable place for me to grow as a musician and make like-minded friends, forming bonds grounded in healthy competition and drive that allowed us all to succeed.
How do you see your time in the UB Department of Music impacting your future?
Through the department, I have made lasting connections to the artistic community. I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with composers from around the world on premieres of pieces, local musicians on a wide variety of music and art projects, and influencers who support the arts both in the Buffalo region and beyond. These connections will last beyond graduation and allow me to explore deeper ties to the worldwide musical sphere, which I can use to uncover amazing new projects and opportunities. I also see the department as having provided a strong foundation on which I can grow my entertainment law career, as it's given me a unique knowledge base and a good idea of what local artists and musicians need as far as legal protections and assistance.