Hometown: Albany, NY
Major: French Horn Performance
Class of 2010
Former Studies with: Jonathan Menkis
Why did you choose to study at NEC?
“When I first began researching colleges my sophomore year of high school, I set up lessons with professors from a number of universities and conservatories. After my lesson at NEC with Daniel Katzen, who no longer teaches here, he offered to take me on as a student at that time. I began studying with him my junior year and attended Walnut Hill* my senior year in order to study with him full time. Additionally, I played with the Youth Philharmonic OrchestraNEC’s Preparatory School through . By studying at Walnut Hill and with Mr. Katzen, I had the opportunity to observe the Brass Orchestral Repertoire class, participate in studio class and attend many concerts at NEC. It was through these experiences that I realized that NEC would be the best place to study.”
What do you like about studying at NEC?
“One of the greatest opportunities that you are afforded as a wind or brass player at NEC is the fact that you are simultaneously assigned to orchestra and wind ensemble rotations. You are consequently given many more performance opportunities than would normally be available in a college setting. As a horn player, I have also taken Horn Class each semester, which I believe to be an invaluable opportunity. In each class, led by Gus Sebring, we perform for our colleagues and comment on the performances of others. This allows you to work on your performance, aural, and analytical skills which are all vital in becoming a successful musician. Overall, I feel that the strongest asset that NEC has is the faculty. There is a remarkable level of devotion by the professors to help you develop into both a better musician and person.”
What do you like about Boston?
“Boston has a tremendous amount to offer to a music student. First and foremost is the fact that the Boston Symphony is across the street from school. The opportunity to hear your teachers perform every week is an invaluable experience. Additionally, there are countless other ensembles that perform in and around the Boston area. One could go to a different performance every night of the year. One of the other great aspects of Boston is how accessible the city is for everyone. It is a wonderful city to walk, but if you prefer, the public transportation system is easy to navigate.”
Can you think of a particular moment or experience at NEC that was memorable?
“During my sophomore year my brass quintet, the Artus Quintet, was selected as an Honors Chamber Ensemble. Through this distinction, we were afforded the opportunity to perform outreach in the greater Boston area and give a full recital in Jordan Hall. We were also selected to travel to Virginia Beach as part of the Virginia Arts Festival. We spent spring break performing and giving masterclasses in schools, hospitals, and churches. It was through this experience that I was given the opportunity to see how a musician can bring their art to those who would not otherwise have the chance to be exposed to this type of music. It lead me to explore this topic further through a wonderful class offered at NEC, Performing Artists in Schools, that taught us how to develop programs for this setting.”
What do you do outside of class?
“When I am not practicing or rehearsing with my quintet, I am frequently working on campus. Through work study, I have worked in the Financial Aid Office for the past three years. I also am a tutor for the theory department. During my junior year, I had a fellowship through the Community Performances and Partnerships Program. I went to Milton High School once per week to work with the brass students, running sectionals and coaching a brass ensemble.”
*Walnut Hill is a private boarding school for the arts located in Natick, MA, and is affiliated with NEC. Music students at Walnut Hill are enrolled for private instruction with the NEC Preparatory School's distinguished faculty, and are provided advanced training in solo and chamber performance, music theory and analysis, ear training, and music history. Please visit the Walnut Hill website for further information.
Jessica Lascoe is the recipient of the Willem Valkenier Scholarship.