Hometown: San Jose, CA
Major: Double Bass Performance
Current Teacher: Lawrence Wolfe
Why did you choose to study at NEC?
“As a bassist, NEC was always high on my list of schools. Over the years, NEC has produced many phenomenal bassists who are now members of the top orchestras throughout the U.S. When I auditioned at NEC I absolutely loved it and in contrast to some other schools I visited, the students seemed happy to be at school. Obviously, attending a conservatory is a lot of work, but NEC’s supportive environment ensures that students do not lose their passion for music.”
What do you like about NEC?
“I love all that NEC has to offer to its students. There are tons of concerts, masterclasses, and activities going on every week. In just one week you can see a period instrument ensemble, a Contemporary Improvisation group, and everything in between. The location is also very convenient. With Symphony Hall, multiple T-Stops (the Boston subway), Whole Foods, Shaw’s, CVS, the post office, AND a mall all within a few minutes’ walk from school, NEC’s location could hardly be better.”
What do you like about Boston?
“As strange as it may sound, I really like the weather in Boston. Being from California I’ve never really had the opportunity to experience seasons. I make sure to visit the public gardens often so I can really see the seasons changing. Fall in New England is gorgeous and I never realized how vibrant fall colors could be. Boston also boasts a phenomenal public transportation system. I can basically get anywhere I want without a car, even with my bass!”
What do you do outside of class?
“Though classes, practicing, and my four on-campus jobs take up most of my time, I manage to find some time for myself. I go to the YMCA – next door to Jordan Hall – several times a week (I get a discounted rate as a NEC student). I also periodically go for walks (or runs) along the scenic Charles River. Outside of music, one of my main passions is food. Luckily, Boston has numerous outstanding restaurants. One of my favorite times of the year is restaurant week (which actually happens for two weeks in March, and two weeks in August, so it’s not really a week…) when many of the best restaurants in Boston offer $20 three course prix fixe lunch menus, and $33 three course dinner menus. This is the only week I can actually afford to eat out at such fancy restaurants. I also enjoy cooking with friends when eating out is too expensive.”
Describe one of your favorite experiences at NEC.
“One of my jobs at NEC is working the chamber music performance classes. I get to hear numerous chamber groups and observe many of the outstanding chamber music coaches at NEC. Though all of these classes are wonderful, one particular class sticks out in my mind. Last November I had the opportunity to work a chamber music class where Kim Kashkashian was coaching. Listening to her talk about the music was incredible. Within seconds I could see and hear improvements in each group she worked with. I was awestruck by her knowledge and lucidity. This made me realize how lucky I am to be at a school with such accomplished and talented faculty.”