My Life and Music

Throughout my life, I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed music and loved being a part of it in any way I could, starting with singing in solos and small groups for my elementary school concerts. I also started learning how to play the clarinet in my school’s band in 5th grade, which I’ve kept up through this year, reaching the point that I’ve spent more of my life playing that instrument than the time in my life before I started learning it. It’s strange to think that I’ve been able to spend so long on something without growing tired of it, but I’ve had so many experiences that have made my time performing music worth it.

High School and Iowa Ambassadors of Music

As my time in school progressed, I kept getting involved in different music ensembles – this started with my school’s main band and choir, soon adding jazz band in junior high (also resulting in me learning how to play the alto sax for a few years in high school). By the time I graduated I was also in a swing choir, National Anthem group, and regularly performed in Iowa’s high school solo/ensemble contest, which involved a lot of early mornings but was one of the most musically satisfying aspects of being a part of music at the high school level. My time performing music before college helped me learn so much about why I love music, and the time that I spent working with people at such a small school led to life-long friendships, especially during the times that we traveled for competitions and performances outside of town (the earlier posts on my Instagram show some of the honor bands and other trips I made for music in high school).

One opportunity that was especially memorable for me during my time in high school was going on the Iowa Ambassadors of Music tour in the summer of 2014 – for this trip, a group of high school music students were nominated to tour through several countries in western Europe in a band and choir. During my trip we spent several days each in London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany (plus stops in Lichtenstein and Venice) and performed a concert in each of those places. We sang a lot of gorgeous pieces during the tour, but my personal favorite was “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre. With it being my first trip outside of the country and a chance to make new friends and learn a lot of music, a trip that exciting only strengthened my passion for music and made my interest in continuing to perform in some capacity stronger.

A photo of myself with a group of high school students in the London Eye during the Iowa Ambassadors of Music tour in 2014.

Music at Drake

I’m so glad I’m still able to play music as part of my experience at Drake, and that has taken form in a few ways that I didn’t expect: I’ve played in the marching band and symphonic band for all four years that I’ve been a Drake student, I play my favorite music on a weekly radio show, and I’m even in a music fraternity that gives back to music programs in other places and led to me making friends with more musicians on campus. Being a part of music has led to so many incredible opportunities and has been so much fun that I’m so lucky to have it be such a big factor in my life for over 10 years.