After my senior recital on March 23, which many of my old colleagues and friends came to watch and enjoy, I spoke to a large handful of people about many different topics. The ones that tend to be more prominent in my memory, as I did not intentionally intend for this to be my second networking assignment, are included within this post.
Immediately following a very successful and strong finish to my senior recital, a small group of old high school friends stopped me and proceeded to ask questions about my studies here at JU and how the music program functions. I continued to talk with them about the multiple degrees offered through the Music Division of the College of Fine Arts, including Music Business, Music Performance, Music Education, Sound Engineering and Music Theater. It turns out that two of the three had just auditioned for acceptance into the performance program only the day before and were trying to soak up as much information as possible before hearing the official response from the University Admissions Office. Near the end of the conversation, the most asked question of Terry Concert Hall came up: “Does the suspended glass sculpture stand for anything?”
Why yes, yes it does. As you see, towards the back of the concert hall, there are three fingers, so to say, and each represents a division of the College of Fine Arts. What are those divisions you ask? Well, there is the Division of Music, Visual Art/ Dance, and Theater. Where the branches all come together represents a spine or backbone, and is the culmination of every style of Art offered through JU.
The look on their faces was priceless because they assumed I pulled it from my butt, but whether they believe me was left totally up to them.
Coming up very soon, I’ll be on the hunt for an apartment in the Pittsburgh area. Having been accepted into Carnegie Mellon for my Master’s, I am greatly humbled and appreciative of those that helped prepare me for this next step of my educational career. Another conversation I had with someone after my senior recital was about apartments and good areas to live in near Pittsburgh. This was an old friend from when I performed with the Clay County Community Band and she lived in the Pitt area for some time when earning her Doctorate degree. Along with talking about Squirrel Hill and Wilkinsburg, we traded names of people we’ve met and some friends we already share. This directly impacts me because now I’ll be able to go to Pittsburgh with confidence and find a great place to live while I’m studying for my Master’s degree.
Brooks Clarke, a very successful graduate of JU, attended my recital and he and I spoke briefly about the ideas and concepts behind my selections. His very first comment was, “How dare you start your entire concert off with that piece and then keep playing more after that. That was performance suicide but you nailed it!” Needless to say, he was ecstatic. He eventually asked what my plans were for the future beyond graduate school and I told him what the final goal was: to be a successful trumpeter for a largely popular orchestra either in Chicago (whenever they finish striking), New York, San Francisco, or Boston. He loves the idea, but had some advice to give that would benefit everything for my future aspirations and auditions, “Keep a level head, play your best, but above all else, be the nicest, most respectful, honest person to everyone you meet because you never know when you’ll meet your future employer, even if you’re just grabbing Starbucks on an off day.” After that conversation, I knew what he meant was to always stay humble, and I will always cherish that advice.