What was your first impression of NEC?
It was so diverse and walking through the practice rooms, it was the first time I didn’t hear only classical music coming out.
Tell me about your musical backstory…what got you to where you are today?
My mom started me when I was 3. I had older cousins who played string instruments and when we got older we started playing in a chamber group as a family.
What is the best thing about life as a strings major?
I think strings get some great opportunities, especially with chamber music. A lot of us are in the mindset of finding out how to click together.
Who has been your favorite teacher? Why?
My studio teacher, Kim Kashkashian, has changed my life. I came here with tendonitis and was in a lot of pain and didn’t want to play if I was going to be in that much pain. How she teaches is all about relaxation techniques and now I’m actually getting better.
What makes NEC unique? Why did you choose here over other schools?
I was really impressed by the musical diversity and the diverse student body that the Jazz and CI programs offer. Everyone’s always interacting. I’ve done concerts with jazz singers. I used to do that in Chicago but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do that again.
What is the biggest challenge you’re proud to have overcome here?
Probably the body mechanics, changing the way I’ve played since I was three and letting all that tension go, both physically and emotionally. Classical can seem really uptight, but here it is more of an organic environment where we can really thrive.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Come with an open mind and say yes to everything!