Rachael Yokers is a graduate student studying Flute Performance and a fellow in the USC Thornton Gluck Fellows Program — an initiative sponsored by the Max H. Gluck Foundation and part of the wider USC Thornton Outreach Programs.
Gluck Fellows provide performances free of charge to audiences representative of the diverse cultural fabric of Los Angeles at a number of venues including: health care facilities, neighborhood community centers, libraries and similar locations. The performances, which are given by small ensembles of fellows, generally take place in communities traditionally underserved by local arts programs. Throughout the program, fellows also participate in training workshops that teach skills to enhance their development as effective performers, communicators and engaged citizens of their respective communities.
Yokers’ performance partner in the USC Thornton Gluck Fellows Program is graduate student Cameron O’Connor, who studies Classical Guitar. The two have performed together as the AeroCorda duo in various locations throughout Los Angeles since 2012.
“I feel best about performing when it gives back to the community somehow,” Yokers explained. “It defines why I am so interested in music. It allows me to be a little bit freer with my instrument, knowing there is some sort of higher purpose behind it. It’s not just about how perfectly you can play a sonata, it’s about making someone happy and feel better about their day.”
Watch the video above to hear Yokers discuss her involvement with the USC Thornton Gluck Fellows Program and how it has enhanced her education.