Hometown: Mendon, MA/
Redondo Beach, CA
Major: Trumpet Performance
Current Teacher: Steve Emery
How did you become interested in NEC and why did you choose to study at NEC?
"I grew up in Massachusetts and learned about New England Conservatory through friends in the NEC Prep School and YPO (Youth Philharmonic Orchestra). When I started thinking about applying to colleges my teacher and I talked about auditioning at NEC a lot. I was drawn to the trumpet faculty at NEC. I had heard about Steve Emery and his teaching through others and knew he would be an amazing teacher. Studying with Steve was a big part of the decision."
What do you like about your program/major, and what do you like about NEC?
"I enjoy my studio a lot. Everyone’s really supportive and it’s competitive in a healthy way. Every music school is going to have some level of competition, but here when I have trouble with an excerpt, concerto or etude I can go talk to someone in another practice room and get their help. That combined with phenomenal trumpet teachers make this the perfect environment. I absolutely love my lessons! It’s awesome when you find a teacher who just clicks. I’ll be stressing out about something in my playing and Steve Emery has an answer for me because he’s been there before, so he knows how to help others.
"Then there’s trumpet class. Ben Wright ran one class last year and I found that he just knows everything about auditions. I played the off stage excerpts from the Pines of Rome. He just listened to me and said you need to do this, this, and this… and stand up straight! It was immediately better. Peter Chapman is also an incredible teacher who regularly runs trumpet class. He works with us on section playing, looking at excerpts, running through repertoire and mock-auditions. Playing mock-auditions from behind a screen we experienced that new stressor, realizing that you wouldn’t see who you’re playing for. We split the studio in two and auditioned in “rounds” over a period of two weeks. That gave us a real chance to listen to one another and really think about what an audition should feel and sound like. The great thing about Peter and trumpet class is that he’s always open to listen to our ideas and he usually puts them to work. We asked to audition and to listen and to talk about the Haydn and Hummel concertos and different interpretations of them. The faculty always takes our thoughts and requests into consideration."
Can you think of a particular moment or experience at NEC that was memorable?
"A very memorable experience for me was when we performed Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2; we were like a gigantic orchestral machine! I was emotionally moved on stage and felt connected to the other musicians. That experience really cemented my goals of wanting to make music every night!"
Which of your Liberal Arts courses did you find most engaging and why?
"I love Liberal Arts! There are so many awesome teachers and subjects to dive into and I find every instructor to be completely engaging. I like that you can focus in on music related courses like “Music and the Brain” or you can branch out in other directions like “the Buddah” or “The Plays of Shakespeare”.
"One of my favorite Liberal Arts teachers is Mr. Klein. I actually did an independent study with Mr. Klein focusing on the writings of Jane Austen. It was my favorite Liberal Arts experience and convinced me that Mr. Klein knows something about every subject! I’ve taken four courses with him in the last four semesters including: Law and Order, Ecology, Elections, Film and Politics as well as my independent study."
How has NEC affected you?
"I have grown a lot as a person and a musician. When I started I was definitely just a trumpet player; I fit the profile of a trumpet player hanging out in the high school band room. I’ve definitely grown into a musician through the different courses I took. You start out as a vocalist or a violinist or a trumpet player, but your experiences turn you into a musician. The teachers and friends you make help you become a well rounded person and as a result you find confidence in yourself."
What do you do outside of class?
"I practice, hang out with friends, and visit family living in the Boston area (my parents still live in California). I also just like to wander around the city. You can also get really cheap tickets to Sox games and other stuff around the city when you know where to look."