A phrase commonly spoken by many Eastman alumni, my own “Eastman Era” is coming to an end. Of course, a threshold like this brings moments of reflection and thoughts of “where did the time go?” mixed with anticipation of what is to come and excitement of beginning a new adventure. It was August of 2008 when I first arrived in Rochester following a long move from Georgia. Everything was new and exciting… though, like most things, I had to get through a period of adjustment before I felt like I really fit into life in the city and life at Eastman. From the very first semester, I had wonderful teachers who guided and encouraged me to be the best that I could be. Settling was never an option. Through classes, coachings, rehearsals, and performances, I met great colleagues and learned much about the art of music.
When overwhelmed by my first semester of work and expectations, time felt like it was standing still. Now, it’s a blur. Looking back always makes time feel shorter somehow. I have grown much in my recognition of who I am as an artist and a musician and how I can contribute to the field. I have learned how to ask questions, teach myself, work hard, and achieve my goals. I credit this to the support of my professors – in particular, my primary teacher, Dr. Jean Barr – and those who have been a part of my Eastman experience. This is a time of my life that I will never forget.