What was your first impression of NEC? How has that changed since you’ve been here?
When I first came, I was reassured by the large community feeling. Everyone was so encouraging. A lot of other conservatories have a really competitive vibe, and while we’re still competitive, we’re also so encouraging and supportive. I think that makes NEC really unique.
Tell me about your musical backstory…what got you to where you are today?
I’ve been singing for 13 or 14 years. I’m from north of New York City and when I was 6 my family went to see Phantom of the Opera. After that, I told my parents I wanted to sing, so they found me a voice teacher in my town who really helped protect my voice. I auditioned for the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College program and that’s where I got my classical voice training.
What is the best thing about life as a voice major?
The amount of collaboration between departments. And that we get to audition for the undergrad opera program. I’m also part of the CI and Jazz ensembles, so we’re really given opportunities to perform.
Who has been your favorite teacher? Why?
For voice, Jane Eaglen. She’s so encouraging, intelligent, and inspiring. She really pushes me to do my best. Also, my acting advisor Patrick Keppel. He’s helped me to create my acting minor and I did an independent study with him. He’s really passionate and has helped me improve so much. Justin Williams for diction – he’s totally great.
What makes NEC unique? Why did you choose here over other schools?
The fact that I could minor through liberal arts was really important to me. The entrepreneurship department and the fact that I can apply for a grant is also really great. These things make NEC special.
What is the biggest challenge you’re proud to have overcome here?
I went to a public high school and I think in our education system, music is not thought of as being as important as things like math or science. At first, it was hard for me to realize that all my music classes are valid and important, but now I feel really privileged to be able to study music full time.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Get involved! Don’t be shy to audition for ensembles outside of your department. I grew so much through those. Also, find a balance with activities outside of music. NEC has lots of non-music related things to do. I’m an editor for the school newspaper, The Penguin. Finally, explore Boston – make sure to go out to eat!