Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I applied and was accepted into five different universities, but UMD truly stood out to me. Of all the schools I looked at, each had the option to study music education, but not as a main concentration. The most common situation that the universities offered was to double major in piano and education and to perhaps study music education in graduate school. UMD values the music education program just as much as it values any other major. At my audition, there was a separate interview just for the music education program, which truly said to me, "This school takes music education seriously."
In addition, UMD has the most school spirit of any school I looked at. When touring, practically every other student we saw was wearing Terp gear, and many shouted at us, "Come to Maryland!" or "Go Terps!" I was truly taken by how much the students here love their school, and I'm proud to be a part of this spirited community.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
I'm a junior majoring in Choral and General Music Education. My main instrument is piano, but I am also a member of the UMD Chamber Singers and I took private voice lessons last year as part of the Vocal Minor Series. I plan on graduating in May of 2018.
What is your Hometown?
I'm from West Hartford, CT, so UMD is a bit far from home. Thanks to my scholarship, I can afford to go to school out of state and visit my family on holidays.
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
As a freshman, my first ever chorale experience was in the University Chorale. This is a large choir with a combination of music majors and non-music majors. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was invited to be a part of the UMD Chamber Singers, which is the most advanced choir here at UMD. This group is made up of voice majors and graduate/DMA students, and I was rather nervous to be a part of the group (as voice is not my primary instrument). Chamber Singers requires a lot of extra practice time and extra rehearsals, as we learn far more advanced music than the Chorale does. While I was nervous at the beginning of the year, I have really felt myself grow as a musician through this experience, as the ensemble requires me to practice more, to improve my sight reading skills, and to be a better singer.
I'm now in my fourth semester of Chamber Singers and I love every minute of it. For the last two years, we've had the opportunity to perform Handel's Messiah at the Kennedy Center. In just a few weeks, we'll be performing Herbert Howell's Requiem and Frank Martin's Mass with guest conductor Matthew Halls. I, and the rest of the ensemble, are very excited for this experience. While all this is immensely time and energy-consuming, it is quite rewarding and I'm proud to be a part of this ensemble.