Graduation year: 2012
What are you doing professionally right now? I just recently moved from Chicago to San Francisco. I plan to freelance in the bay area and take auditions. Within a week of moving here, I was hired to be the Horn Professor at Fresno Pacific University. I will be teaching private horn lessons and also coaching chamber music. I am currently studying with Principal Horn of the SFSO, Bob Ward.
Why did you choose IWU? When I visited IWU, I immediately felt the sense of community within the music school. It was important to me that I would receive rigorous music training along with a liberal arts education.
Did you feel prepared after graduation? Absolutely. Because I am pursuing horn performance as a career, it was very beneficial to be studying with someone as successful in the freelance world as Kelly Langenberg. She has done everything! If you need someone to guide you as a performer or an educator, she is exactly what you need. She helped me prepare for my graduate school auditions. Immediately following IWU, I attended Northwestern University and received a Master’s Degree in Horn Performance.
Any advice for students who are currently deciding on a university? I would recommend going somewhere that challenges you but also supports you while pursuing your career. IWU provided me with amazing opportunities while I was in school and continues to help me on my career path.
Would you choose IWU again? Absolutely. Nowhere can compare to the quality of teaching and people I was exposed to while in school. I am still in contact with many of my professors and colleagues.
Major: Horn Performance
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!