What are your interests/activities/ensembles at Lawrence?
I’m continuously involved in a number of new music chamber groups (including the official Lawrence New Music Ensemble), I work a lot with the saxophone studio, and I’m an Accompanying Fellow. I’m also the Secretary Treasurer for the Lawrence student chapter of MTNA and a piano tutor. Beyond that, I take organ lessons and host open jam sessions in my dorm room on the weekends alongside the members of my band, the Melodikids (a melodica ensemble).
What repertoire are you working on right now?
I’m working on the world premiere of piano trio I commissioned from a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m currently doing research on my favorite composer, Nancy Van De Vate, and am trying to learn as much of her music as I can. I’m learning Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar to take on tour to Texas over spring break, and I’m also working on some Ligeti Etudes, a C.P.E. Bach Fantasy, and selections from a Renaissance keyboard collection, the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
What’s the best concert you’ve attended at Lawrence?
It’s a toss-up between three. The concert that Eighth Blackbird gave my freshman year was my first experience hearing contemporary music and it completely altered the direction of my life and music career. The student and faculty performance of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians was also one of the most cathartic and visceral musical experiences I’ve ever had. Finally, the 2018 New Music Series concert Coming Together was both one of the most deeply personal concerts I’ve performed in, playing on Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, and also one of the most inspiring concerts I’ve attended while watching George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique.
What’s been your favorite memory at Lawrence?
Giving my junior recital last year was eye-opening for me in ways I would never have imagined. It was a unique experience because I was able to plan and curate the entire program alongside my good friend with whom I shared the recital, and we were able to perform in the Esch-Hurvis Studio in the Warch Campus Center (where the walls are floor-to-ceiling glass panels overlooking the Fox River). Together we performed a program of pieces written by women composers in the last 50 years. A ton of people come up to me afterward and told me that they had cried or experienced deep personal connections to the music. At the same time, I felt overwhelmingly proud, humbled, intimidated, and inspired to have created something that meant so much to a large number of people.
What drew you to Lawrence?
During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to have a lesson with Professor Michael Mizrahi, and after that lesson, Lawrence rose to the top of my list because I knew I wanted to study with him. I also really valued the small class sizes and that I would be able to take classes in many different areas of study.
What are your plans for life after Lawrence?
I plan on going to graduate school, hopefully either in New York or California. After that, I want to start a nation-wide outreach organization that brings contemporary music to under-funded schools or cities as a way to help kids (especially those who are marginalized or at-risk) understand and process their societies and cultures in ways that builds community, communication, support, and empathy.