Major: BM Bassoon Performance
Graduation year: 2019
Hometown: Temecula, CA
Hashtag to describe yourself: #blessedstressedandwelldressed
What are your plans for the summer and next year now that you graduated?
I will spend my summer working and gigging all up and down California! I will return as faculty at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Festival, and I have been invited to once again be the second bassoonist for Opera NEO. Once my summer is finished, I’m staying right here in LA and will be starting my Masters program at USC! I am incredibly thrilled to be spending my summer doing what I love, and even more excited to be returning to USC in the fall.
What was one of your favorite USC Thornton experiences?
There are countless experiences I have been so grateful for at USC Thornton, but one of my favorites would have to be our Spring 2018 performance of Beethoven 9. Many of my closest friends from my first year of college are choral majors, and so getting to play principal with them singing behind me was such a precious experience for me that I still look back on fondly.
What was your favorite USC GE class?
LING 285: Human Language and Computation. This GE was one of the most daunting classes to look at: it involved programming, biology, physics, and a huge knowledge of linguistics, all of which I knew very little of. My professor was incredibly engaging and made things so simple to understand, and by the end of the class I was able to program a computer to not only understand my speech, but process it and respond back! This is something I never would have even considered learning if it weren’t for the wide array of GE choices at USC!
What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?
Hands down, the best part about being in LA are all of the opportunities. As a musician (classical or otherwise), LA is a hub of gigs and connections, and spending four years at such a prestigious and well-known music school makes you a target for these gigs. I’ve done everything from play at Warner Bros. to work with a man who records rock songs in Long Beach, all thanks to the people I know through USC Thornton.
What is something you wish you knew when you were applying to college?
I wish I had known that I would find a place full of people as passionate as I am. My high school didn’t have an award-winning arts program, my youth orchestra never toured the country, and I was alone in my love of orchestra and classical music, and desperate to get out. The moment I walked into USC Thornton my freshman year, and was met by strangers talking about Bach and the LA Phil and their goals in life, I knew I was somewhere I belonged, surrounded by people just like me. Having so many people around me who were as dedicated as I was to music is something I never imagined I would have, and USC Thornton has given me that.
Where is your favorite place on campus?
Other than the practice rooms, one of my favorite spots on campus is the Ramo Lawn, right outside of the music school. Thornton may not be as new as some of the buildings around it (aka Kaufman and the Cinematic Arts School) but the lawn is a perfect place for a picnic lunch or a relaxing rest between classes.
What was your favorite thing about being a student at the Thornton School?
Thornton, to me, is unparalleled in its talent and its camaraderie. Since my freshman year, I have felt nothing but welcomed and encouraged at USC. Working so closely with graduate students and seeing them support you, play with you, and respect you will make your musical confidence skyrocket. Every person, student or professor, at USC Thornton wants the best for you, and I truly think that this family-environment is a unique quality at Thornton that you cannot find at many other music schools.
Why did you choose the Thornton School?
I chose Thornton because there was nothing else I would have rather done. USC Thornton was my reach school; my private teacher studied here, and I knew that if I wanted to be successful in my career path I needed a school like Thornton to elevate me. I never expected to be able to attend USC, and yet here I am. Every day I am so incredibly thankful to be surrounded by some of the best musicians in the country, to be in a city with a wealth of opportunities, and to have the ability to learn from and study under some of the most inspiring professional musicians of our time.