Darynn Dean, Voice

Student Bio
Darynn Dean

What was your first impression of NEC? 

I thought it was a really cool school and I was really excited. I’d never really been in Boston aside from my audition, but when I arrived it was summer, people were jamming outside on the staircase, and I knew it was the place for me.

Tell me about your musical backstory…what got you to where you are today?

I always loved to sing but I didn’t take it as seriously until middle school. I started singing in a youth big band with my cousin and learned tons of jazz standards from that. Then I started doing competitions and decided that this was what I wanted to do. Now I’m working on navigating my career here.

What is the best thing about life as a voice major?

I really like the spontaneity. It never gets old. I love that there’s so much intersection, especially within my friend groups. I don’t have to be boxed in if I don’t want to be.

Who has been your favorite teacher? Why?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite, they all bring different flavors! But definitely Dominique Eade and John McNeil. He’s such a talented musician and has so much experience. He’s a really straightforward guy and pushes me and treats me as an equal, which I really appreciate.

What makes NEC unique? Why did you choose here over other schools?

I really liked the academic aspect of NEC. Other conservatories didn’t have options like Entrepreneurial Musicianship and liberal arts. Here, I knew I wouldn’t have to give up those things in order to study at a conservatory.

How have clubs & extracurriculars added to your life at NEC?

I’m a member of the Black Student Union. Being in a community of people that allows us to share things as a culture has been really nice. I also started the Initiative for Social Change. We’re working on partnering with the YMCA to expose the community to music and break down walls outside of NEC.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Relax! Don’t worry so much. I was really afraid of being away from home but I told myself to relax and focus on the present and staying true to my purpose, which really helped.

When I arrived, it was summer, people were jamming outside on the staircase, and I knew it was the place for me.
Darynn Dean'19 BM Jazz Voice