The special mentoring relationship formed in the crucible of intensive one-on-one study with a master artist plays the key role in study at the conservatory. As an important center of professional musical activity in the New York City region, Bard is able to attract world-class faculty who believe strongly in the special mission of the Conservatory. Visiting performers and composers present master classes and concerts at the Conservatory for the entire Bard community.
Where are you from? Torrington, CT What are your two majors? Flute performance and psychology Who is your teacher? Tara O'Connor Why did you choose Bard?
. . . I had looked at Bard early on in high school and I honestly shoved it to the side on my list of schools because acceptance rates were low and also because of the extremely difficult program. Many people told me to just focus on one aspect of my interest, my music, even though throughout high school I loved my academics along with my music and was constantly balancing the two. After auditioning at a school where Tara was the teacher and not having already applied to Bard, I was lucky enough to be offered an audition at Bard. My audition went really well, and I knew once I came here to audition that this was the place for me. What is a lesson like with your teacher? Tara is one of the most brilliant and inspiring people I know. Lesson's with her can be very tough just because she demands getting the best work out of all of her students. But after every lesson I leave with new pieces of information that I am excited to apply in the practice room and in other aspects of my playing. She is one of the funniest people I know so there is also a lot of laughing that goes on in a lesson which I think is vital to bringing people back down to earth amidst all of their stress. What do you think of Bard's facilities and resources? I think that the conservatory students at Bard are especially privileged when it comes to facilities and resources. First off, we are able to rehearse twice a week in one of the most amazing halls EVER (the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts), and we also have a gorgeous new music building that was just finished last year (I practically live there!) with brand new studios, practice spaces, and a beautiful new hall. Finding a practice room can be tough sometimes but I think that comes with any music school. What other musical endeavors do you do here at Bard? For chamber groups, I'm playing in the Ravel Introduction and Allegro septet and the Takemitsu Toward the Sea for alto flute and marimba. What do you do in your free time? Free time is a pretty rare thing here but when I do have free time, I will hang out with my friends, go shopping, or catch up on some Netflix shows! What advice would you give a prospective Bard student? Bard is truly an amazing place and if you have other interests besides music this is the place to pursue those as well. In this day and age, I think getting an education along with a performance degree is vital to success in the real world. The last 5 songs you listened to.
‘Bones’ by Ben Howard
‘California King Bed’ by Rihanna
‘Love Don't Die’ by The Fray
‘Sonata’ by Carl Vine
‘Poison and Wine’ by the Civil Wars
Best advice you've received? When you are performing, you have to take your love for what you're doing and project it to your audience. Don't get nervous about being nervous. Nobody else is like you, so why be or play like another person? You must perform as if you are conveying yourself to your audience. Any surprises when you started studying at Bard? The whole 'hipster thing' was totally new for me, especially new for my eyes. The college kids are definitely a different breed from the conservatory kids which took a while for me to get used to. What is your relationship with your major and music major? Psychology has always been a huge interest of mine. I love people. Music therapy is also an interest of mine for possibly grad school but I'm still not sure! What is your favorite performance experience? This past summer I was a winner of the 2013 NFA Masterclass competition and got to perform at the NFA Convention in New Orleans for Pierre Yves Artaud, the flute professor at the Paris Conservatory. I performed Zoom Tube by Ian Clarke, which was a piece that was completely out of my comfort zone (lost of extended techniques, singing and playing, alternate fingerings, and a "YOW" exclamation in the middle!!). I worked really hard and the performance definitely helped boost my confidence level especially when playing such contemporary music. What are you most excited about this year? I am moderating for my Psychology major next semester which is really exciting for me and I also cannot wait for the three-week Europe tour with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra in June!