Where are you from? Philadelphia, PA
What are your two majors? French and Violin Performance
Who is your violin teacher? Laurie Smuckler
Why did you choose Bard? I chose Bard for a couple of reasons. First, the double degree. At a lot of schools I was looking at, I wanted the option to double major but after doing more research I found out that doing a double degree is really difficult. However, Bard’s Double Degree really fosters the idea of the Liberal Arts education and conservatory training, and I knew I would have a better chance of success studying at Bard.
Second, my teacher. Laurie teaches at a several schools but Bard was the only school that offered the double degree, so it was a win-win situation.
What is like to work with your teacher? It’s very easy to describe. Everything is in the name of music. According to Laurie, you serve the music. She wants you to have your own musical ideas and to be an educated musician and while following standard technique and musicianship, she doesn’t want you to become a cookie cutter, but a true thinking musician.
What do you think of the facilities? I think they’re fantastic. Actually, one of the great things about Bard college is that I can practice anywhere, literally, anywhere. Also, the Fisher Center is an amazing space to play in; I’m lucky to play there at least twice a week.
What other extra curricular musical activities do you take part in? I’m playing in Contemporaneus, a chamber ensemble that started at Bard a few years ago. Now, it’s based out of NYC and really taking off with rehearsals, performances and new music. I’m also in the Bard Baroque ensemble, that provides baroque bows and we rehearse at least once a week. It’s a really great to explore different styles and periods of playing.
What non-music things do you enjoy doing? Hanging out with friends. I live on campus, so late at night it’s easy to find people to wind down with.
What was your schedule for a recent day?
7:00am wake up
10:00 music history
12:00 lunch and practice
2:00 baroque ensemble
6:00 chamber music
7:30 dinner and homework
Midnight - go to bed
What would you tell prospective students? I love being productive and you will be busy at Bard. Get ready. But every day I feel very accomplished whether be finishing a great rehearsal, writing a paper or composition I know I’ve had a great day, because I can look back at what I’ve accomplished that day. You’ll have to get used to going to sleep a little later than usual and will have to up your practicing, but that’s why I’m here. I’m that kind of person. I enjoy being busy.
Last five songs you listened to?
Tango(my walking to lunch music)
Joan Towers ‘Duets’
Barber Violin Concerto
Top 40 radio
Justin Timberlake(I’ve been known to listen to him)
What is the best advice you’ve received? My lesson last week with Laurie she told me “There will be people that like you. There will be people that don’t like you. But you’ve got to like yourself and be grateful for the ones that do.”
What surprised you about Bard? Everyday is a surprise at Bard College. You can be whomever you’d like to be at Bard. Dress how you would like, listen to any music you like, and live life how feel. I’ve become a stronger individual here, I think, because of this mindset.
What is your relationship between your two degrees at Bard? Playing any french composer I know all the directions in French on the music so that’s easy. I also have read French literature and read about French culture from the time in which many famous French composers composers were writing.
Also, My senior project is actually a combination of my two degrees. I wanted to find a topic that emphasized both degrees, not just doing a French translation or just music. My project is about the music scene in 1920’s Paris. It’s about American composers who went to Paris to study and compose. The topic is exciting to me and it will add a lot to my knowledge and background in music.
Favorite musical performance? A music festival in Paris, France--I feel so obnoxious mentioning France all the time, but French studies is a priority-- Anyways, I played Tchaikovsky Serenade for strings. There have been other performances, but that one, for some reason, has always stuck out.
What excites you most about this year? The European tour and my graduate school auditions--scary but exciting.
Where do you see yourself? I’ve really enjoyed playing in Contemporaneus and would love to freelance, but I know I want a master's degree first. I’d love to be in an orchestra; I know that, but I don’t want to limit myself and my career.