What was your first impression of NEC? How has that changed since you’ve been here?
I was originally skeptical about the size. I’d grown up in small school settings, so I was looking towards larger universities. The idea of being in a city was appealing, though, because I’d also grown up in a city. I made the right decision. NEC has a small community without feeling too small. Here you can interact with and expose yourself to not just music, but many various types of art.
Tell me about your musical backstory…what got you to where you are today?
I started with violin at a young age. I went to a small performing arts high school and about midway through, I got into composing. I liked being able to explore with sounds.
What is the best thing about life as a composition major?
Experimenting with sounds. NEC has such a small, close community with such talent and vibrancy and that really contributes to everything. Your friends eventually become like your colleagues and I’m comfortable asking them for techniques. This positive, supportive environment has really enhanced my experience.
Who has been your favorite teacher? Why?
My private teacher John Mallia. He’s become very much like a colleague and he’s very supportive.
What makes NEC unique? Why did you choose here over other schools?
Being in Boston. It’s a city of such culture. I’m exposed to all sorts of art. Even though NEC is really intense music, we’re all so supportive of each other.
What is the biggest challenge you’re proud to have overcome here?
Getting into a conservatory setting was challenging. Everything was taught differently from how I’d been taught through high school, so that took some adjusting.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Practice hard, but being in a practice room constantly won’t enrich your musical experience on its own. Enjoy life as well as working hard.