Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!
I’ve been through a few big life changes recently. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree last year, I planned to take a gap year for practising and travelling. While visiting The Hague, however, I decided I loved it so much that within a month of arriving back in the United States, I packed up my apartment in Chicago, drove to my hometown in Alabama, and moved to the Netherlands for study. I’m now pursuing a master’s degree at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag focusing on contemporary music, and I couldn’t be happier!
How did you first get into music?
Despite growing up in an area that didn’t have a lot of classical music, the public schools in my hometown had great music education. I began studying trumpet when I was 12 and became serious about pursuing it as a profession when I was 16. My parents were really supportive… They drove me to youth orchestra in another state every Saturday morning for two years.
What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?
I had a couple really great teachers when I was in high school, both music and other subjects, who not only encouraged me to follow my dreams, but made me feel confident in my voice as an artist. Communicating with other people is something I find both really interesting and important, and music allows me to do that.
What has been your musical highlight so far?
For my own performance, I would have to say playing Stockhausen’s INVASION-EXPLOSION at the Dutch National Opera. For a concert that I have attended, I would have to say seeing Herbie Hancock in Chicago in 2014!
Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?
I have so many favourites – both in music and in other art forms – and they are constantly changing! A few that stand out for me right now would be the plays of Tom Stoppard, the music of Jennifer Walshe, and the visual art of Joan Miro.
What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?
I’m super excited to play with the Nevis Ensemble! Everyone in the ensemble is playing with the intention of bringing music and energy to other people, and when a group like that shares the same goal and spirit, it’s unstoppable!