What is your earliest memory of classical music? My most vivid early memory of classical music was the first orchestra concert I ever attended with my dad. It was a local orchestra near my hometown, the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and they performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. This concert had a profound influence on my desire to pursue classical music, specifically performing in an orchestra as my desired career path.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? I don’t think there was any specific moment I can point to, however the one mentioned above certainly had a significant impact. I think the realization of music being what I wanted to pursue as a career grew over time, throughout middle school and high school. From my love for music at an early age, from performing and being connected with music helping me through personal adversity, and from experiencing the power of creating music with fellow peers and musicians, I think that realization became clearer over time.
How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? I heard about TŌN through my professor at the time, John Tafoya, as well as Jason Haaheim, the timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera. After reading about the program, I felt it would be a great opportunity to further my skills and experience playing in an orchestra with talented musicians, as well as learn more regarding current conversations about the modern-day orchestra, and how we can sustain and improve orchestra concert experience.
Who is your biggest inspiration? My family. I learn from them every day and continue to be inspired by each one of their work ethics, ambitions, kindness, and love.
Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? Pertaining to classical music, the two composers I have always connected to are Mahler and Tchaikovsky. If I could put my finger on exactly why I would happily tell you! Outside of classical music, I have always loved R&B music.
What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Find a balance between work and creating memories. Also, record yourself!
Favorite non-classical musician or band: Frank Ocean
If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Violin, trombone, or guitar
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Something involving psychology or law
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: Huge college football fan, Roll Tide!
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Don’t ever lose sight of what made you fall in love with music in the first place.