What was your first impression of NEC? How has that changed since you’ve been here?
When I first came here, I had the feeling that it was very inclusive. Everyone really wanted to get to know me for me. Because there were so many types of musicians, I thought it would be clique-y like my performing high school had been. But I’ve made really close friends with Jazz and CI musicians. It’s really helped me go outside my comfort zone and meet new people and not be intimidated by other types of musicians.
Tell me about your musical backstory…what got you to where you are today?
I started singing in church in North Carolina and that’s where I found my voice. I moved up north to be closer to family and I was exposed to opera music in high school. I had different teachers in New York who pushed me harder than I had been used to. All my development in classical music before NEC happened in 2 or 3 years, but I made the quick decision to pursue it.
What is the best thing about life as a voice major?
I get to collaborate with different kinds of musicians and make music with all types of people, styles, and instruments. I can really grow artistically from this.
Who has been your favorite teacher? Why?
My studio teacher Lisa Saffer, but also I’m getting a minor in Liberal Arts. My advisor and teacher for that, Dr. Jill Gatlin, has really helped me think about my place in the world and society and how to articulate things I couldn’t have before.
What makes NEC unique? Why did you choose here over other schools?
There are so many different kinds of musicians here, not just classical and a little bit of jazz. Boston is a hub for the arts and I wanted access to different sources of inspiration. It’s really eclectic.
What is the biggest challenge you’re proud to have overcome here?
I’m more willing to make mistakes. Partly because NEC is so small, but also because in order to improve you must be willing to put it all on the line, put it all out there.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Take advantage of the variety NEC offers, but also what Boston has to offer. NEC is right smack dab in the middle of Boston and that lends itself to being a hub for improvement and inspiration. It would be a mistake to stay here for 4 years and not take advantage of everything it has to offer.