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Alumni Feature: Jessica Pearce

Posted by on October 9, 2015
Major: Horn Performanceunnamed (1)
Graduation Year: 2009
What are you doing professionally right now?  I taught privately and freelanced in Chicago for the past four years and now I am starting my DMA in Horn Performance & Literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Why did you choose IWU?  I chose IWU because I had such a great connection with my horn professor, Christine Worthing, and I loved the atmosphere at IWU.  I was nurtured and challenged and given so
many opportunities to perform and to be a leader.
Did you feel prepared when you got to grad school, or in your first job placement?  I certainly felt overwhelmed when starting my MM in Horn Performance and starting to freelance in Chicago, but ultimately I conquered these new professional challenges because IWU gave me the tools to succeed.  I didn’t just learn how to be a great musician at Illinois Wesleyan- I also learned how to work well with others, be a leader, create opportunities for myself, and tackle hard times with positivity and determination.  And no matter how much times passes, I know that the support network of friends and professors and colleagues from Illinois Wesleyan is always there to cheer me on.
Do you have any advice for students trying to decide on their undergraduate school?  In the end, there will be a school that just “feels right” and you’ll want to be a part of the community there.  The professors and the students are the heart of the university and you should go where you feel the strongest connection with their work and ideals.
Would you choose IWU again?  I would definitely choose Illinois Wesleyan again.  I can’t really imagine who I would be if I hadn’t gone there! Whenever I go back to visit it just feels like home!

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