Years in AYPO: 4 years, 2005-2009
Current Occupation: PhD Candidate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Current City of Residence: London, UK
Current Musical Involvement: Studying/researching music in conservatoire
Favorite Piece to Perform: It really varies! Anything that tells a story
Is there a specific memory or experience that impacted your decision to pursue a music career?
There are lots of moments that have led me down this path of pursuing a career in music. I feel really blessed that God has opened up so many doors for me, ultimately leading me to where I am in London now! I think what really started it all though was when I had the incredible experience of playing principal clarinet in the Virginia All-State Orchestra as a sophomore in high school. I had never played principal in an orchestra before, let alone one of that calibre. That weekend, working on such beautiful and stirring music as Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis, Barber's School for Scandaland Hovhaness' Mysterious Mountain, opened my eyes, and ears!, to just how moving and powerful music can be, and how much I loved being a part of creating it for the audience.
Any advice for young musicians interested in pursuing a music career?
My advice might sound a bit controversial, but hear me out! I would really encourage young musicians to get out of the practice room and into their communities. That is not to say that practice isn't incredibly important, because effective and focusedpractice is absolutely necessary. But I feel like so many music students think they need to spend hours upon hours sitting in front of a music stand, and then miss out on the amazing, life-changing experiences that can be gained by getting out into the world. So I would say use your musical gifts to get involved in your community, bring music to people who don't have access to it, try something new and different with how you perform, improvise, collaborate, develop a variety of skills and see how it all pushes your musicianship and passions in ways you might never have imagined.