Jazz Bassist Anna Abondolo '22 knew when she arrived at NEC that she had found a community that would embrace her artistic curiosity. The classically trained jazz bass player and daughter of two classical musicians, Anna studied cello and piano until she discovered her passion for playing improvised music just before enrolling in a small arts high school in her home city of Los Angeles after "noodling with an electric bass my dad had laying around."
Anna decided to audition for a jazz ensemble at her new school, and right away she was hooked. By her sophomore year Anna was playing with top ensembles in her school, and knew that she wanted to study jazz on the East Coast. NEC was the obvious choice for many reasons. The ability to study with teachers in both jazz and classical or Contemporary Improvisation was key, but just as important was the freedom to explore.
"NEC is a place where there is so much happening musically and they really don't put you in a box," Anna says. "In all departments they encourage you to be your own artist and explore what you're curious about."
Now in her second year of her undergraduate degree, Anna is also composing and singing, activities she might not have felt empowered to explore without encouragement from her teachers and peers.
"It's so much harder to play when you're playing out of a place of fear," Anna says. "But since I've been at NEC, I've learned that there are so many different ways to become an artist, and that's just a beautiful thing."