Meet Kateri Lirio, Piano & MAT
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA

“Music connects people and you need to share it with all your heart.”

Kateri is an arts educator and a multidisciplinary artist who cares deeply about social justice. Her recent collaborations have included work with the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network, Gay Men’s Chorus of LA, and the Khalsa Peace Corps, all in addition to her own music-making and teaching.

“I attended the Orange County School of the Arts and Cal Poly Pomona where I studied with Longy alumna and GRAMMY-winning pianist, Dr. Nadia Shpachenko and Mike Garson (keyboardist for David Bowie). When I discovered Longy’s Master of Arts in Teaching program—everything about it felt like me. I’m so happy to walk in their footsteps!”

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A few years ago, I made a trip to Hospicio de San Jose in Manila, Philippines, to prepare an orphaned children’s choir to perform for a fundraiser. I met Ashlyn through this work, a 9-year-old girl with a propensity for both melody and emotional honesty. As we got to know each other, she shared her feelings of unease as many of her friends began to be placed for adoption. She wanted to find a way to express her desire to be satisfied—whether or not she found a permanent home.

“Ate! Ate! Can you teach me how to write a song?” I was taken aback that she trusted me and saw me as an “Ate” (pronounced Ah-Teh), an honorific for “older sister” in Tagalog. The result of our meetings developed into a song called “The Power of Your Love.” I felt like I had unlocked a gateway to her self-expression. This experience of mentoring and collaborating has stayed so present with me (and I still have a recording of it)!

I live as an American-born Filipina in LA. As a second-generation immigrant, I don’t have deep roots in America nor do I have deep roots in my motherland. I’ve always felt “in between” and an “other.” This makes me a stronger teacher because I prioritize connecting with each student over producing “results.” When people feel seen and heard, it’s so much easier to do the work.

After auditing a social justice course taught by the MAT’s Ndindi Kitonga the summer of 2019, I knew Longy would be the ideal place to be surrounded by a cohort of like-minded individuals. I was impressed with Dr. Kitonga’s knowledge and experience serving marginalized communities through experimental, hands-on education. Learning the principles of El Sistema will enhance my teaching practice and provide a better framework for me to create my own programs going forward.

Like Ashlyn, I needed someone to show me how to express myself and now that I’m well on my way, I want to give back. As I experienced in the Philippines, a relationship based on trust and vulnerability enhances the apprentice-mentorship relationship. It sets the stage for any sort of learning. And sharing yourself openly can make a difference in any community—marginalized and affluent alike—when they are fragmented. It is my hope that I can be an “Ate” for others in the Greater Los Angeles area and bridge the equity gap through teaching music.

Check out Kateri’s pitch for a kids’ television show for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, “MUSIC IS EASY!” Aligned with common core standards, it will debunk the myth that understanding music and music theory is only for the privileged. patreon.com/musiciseasy

Meet Pingyulan Long, Jazz Piano & Vocals
Hometown: Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China

I think all musicians should ask themselves three questions: “Who am I?” followed by “What am I capable of?” and finally “What do I want to do in the future?” These questions have no simple answer and are dependent on our situations and stage in life, but I know that contemplating my answers will lead me in the right direction for my music studies and career.

My ultimate goal is to make an impact on the world by expressing myself through music. I want to use my knowledge to teach people how to listen to music differently, to promote artistic literacy, and to sow seeds of inspiration in their minds. I have an ambition to be not just a performer but also a disseminator of ideas. I want people to understand and be moved by the rich variety of music that is possible.

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I was born and raised in a musician’s family and started learning piano at age 5. My father—a great parent as well as a composer—always told me that inspiration and imagination are the keys to making better music. Later on, this became the motto that has followed me along my musical path. 

Time flew as I finished a BA and Masters in classical piano in Austria, and I was quite successful as a pianist. But there was something missing in my music: being a jazz singer had been my dream since middle school. Back then, my days were filled with classical music, yet I always found time to immerse myself in different types of jazz. 

On most musicians’ journeys we begin with imitation; it’s difficult to learn and create from scratch without drawing from the ideas of the past. So we sample, study, and draw inspiration from a variety of musical styles and “stand on the shoulders of giants.” Then, as we mature as artists, we selectively choose what to incorporate as we develop our own style. 

Although I always seek to discover and employ different sounds and techniques, a performance that rests on complex skill, without any emotion, cannot affect people. And if music loses touch with that impact, it’s a failure in my opinion—it has lost its value.  

Similarly, technology will continue to change rapidly, along with a constant stream of new ideas and effects to attract and stimulate music listeners. This is exciting, but if we remain stuck in a novelty-for-its-own-sake mindset, the pieces we write will always be cliché. 

With my new chapter at Longy, I seek to expand my view of music even further, along with the continued development of my musicianship. I want my performance to be organically bound with traditional skills and new techniques. I am setting out to discover intriguing musical styles, to make music that really speaks—and reaches more and more people. With this next step, I’m on my way to achieving my professional goals and realizing this dream. 

Meet Joi Harper, Composition
Hometown: Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

“I come from a family of strong female leaders, and every day I’m inspired by them. I want to be an inspiration to other composers and encourage young women and women of color to join this field. My advice to those who are just starting out: don’t pressure yourself to be ‘the best.’ Sometimes when we feel less represented, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves that can get in the way of our craft.

Use the beginning of your path in music to explore things you’ve never heard—and re-visit the favorites you listen to all the time. Don’t compare yourself with others or worry if other people will like what you’ve written—decide if you like it. Let your journey be your own.”

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“I started writing songs at a young age and began to share these songs with my high school choir teacher. I didn’t know much about music theory, so she taught me to apply the basic concepts to what I was writing. With that knowledge, I was able to branch out into other areas and explore the world of composition. She inspired me to become the composer I am today.

Introducing people to new music is one of my goals. The experience I hold closest to my heart: after introducing the George Mason University Chorale to Kenyan music, we got the chance to travel to Nairobi, Kenya to share American songs as a cultural exchange. I wrote a piece for our choir to sing with the Nairobi Chamber Chorus, incorporating aspects of Kenyan hymns and gospel music, and went on to teach and conduct it.

I heard the song so much, during our choir rehearsals, that it started to lose its impact. I wasn’t prepared for the reception the piece received when we sang it all together. There was dancing, singing along, and a deep sense of pride in our combined cultures—I had never seen this before. It was strange that in a place so far away, I was reminded of home.

That made me realize exactly why I want to write my own music. I want to be continually challenged to create compositions out of my comfort zone. And as the only African-American female in my undergrad composition program, I see first-hand how important change is to the field.

Longy’s catalyst curriculum, location, and accomplished professors brought the school to the top of my list very quickly. But it was my personal connections with the Longy community as I applied and interviewed that made me realize what a good fit it is for me. It’s a great sign of how much individual attention will be part of my study—I like to know the people I’m working with!”

Visit Joi Harper’s website!

Meet Samuel Durand, Piano
Hometown: Cabot, Arkansas, USA

I want the world to know what music can do and why musicians devote so much time and effort to it, as music is a language that expresses the things that words cannot. This power really shines when you allow music to move you and tell you something new.

As I studied music throughout my childhood, it slowly drew me in further and further, as I realized it enabled me to share emotions. All my life, I have never been demonstrative. But experiencing emotions through music was somehow liberating. Suddenly, I could share my inner life with SOUND. Although I am much more open to sharing myself with others now, music continues to give me a place to express everything from love and wonder to pain and anger—in short, to communicate with listeners in a different way.

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Music is such a deep and layered form of art. On the surface, it may look like a science: the notation, varied forms, and theory. But using unique harmonies, sounds, and effects of various musical instruments to evoke something is almost like painting or sculpting. It’s a beautiful testimony to the complex design and order of our earth.

I heard a lot of music during my childhood: Mom would practice her flute, Dad would put on CDs of film scores, and we would sing hymns together in church. When I was about seven, my mom started teaching me to play the piano. Until I was eleven, she was my only teacher along with my lovely—yet strict—grandmother.

When my parents took me and my siblings to the local nursing home to play and sing for the residents, I met many people who had lost the ability to communicate clearly. When we played old songs and familiar hymns, those same residents would recognize the tune and respond by singing along! Music triggers deep memories and restores connections among those who feel isolated—pretty amazing!

I also love teaching young students who are encountering music for the first time. As they learn and grow, you can see their amazement at how well music is designed, organized, and laid out. Whether these students end up being concert pianists or not, I have had the privilege to instill in them a life-long appreciation and respect for the complexity and power of music.

Longy is different from other conservatories because of its emphasis on growth and support, not JUST perfection. I look forward to joining the studious and warm atmosphere that is present throughout the school. And I can’t wait to learn from Longy’s amazing faculty! My goal in coming to Longy is to become a more dedicated, detail-oriented, and thoughtful musician as I prepare to make a difference in the world.

Meet Hollyn Slykhuis, Trumpet
Hometown: Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Hollyn is a woman on a mission. As a trumpeter and music educator, she is breaking barriers and empowering others through music equity. Her studies have taken her from the Baton Rouge school system to teaching abroad in Chile and the LA Phil’s YOLA National Festival, and most recently a music education degree at Louisiana State University.

“My passion for social justice has come to the forefront of my goals. I see myself working in existing programs that use music as a vehicle for social change, as well as blazing new paths. I want everyone, regardless of background, to have a positive and meaningful interaction with music, and I am committed to making that a reality.”

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“Longy appeals to me because of the school’s commitment to progress and the opportunities to engage with the community.  

Experience working with others, especially with those from differing backgrounds, is invaluable. It shifts a performer’s lens, expands horizons, and allows for greater collaboration and rich musical possibilities. A music culture that is representative of the communities in which it is presented is so much more meaningful.  

The YOLA National Festival is a truly special experience because, while its only a few weeks, you witness meaningful and tangible growth (both in the students and in yourself). Watching friendships form and relationships growand seeing this translate onstage as the students make music togetheris deeply moving. 

There is SO much to gain from working in these programs. It is an incredibly important part of every musician’s lifenot just people who see themselves going into the field of education. All musicians find themselves as teachers at some point, whether it be in private lessons, masterclasses, sectionals, rehearsals, etc.  

I also seek to uplift women in fields where they have been historically underrepresented: brass performance and composition. For my undergrad thesis, I commissioned five new works for trumpet by emerging female composers. I am proud to champion this cause and plan to continue working toward long-overdue, positive change in these fields.  

I look forward to all the collaboration and music making with friends and colleagues at Longy who support this mission!

You can read more about Hollyn in 5 Questions with “I Care If You Listen!
https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/03/5-questions-hollyn-slykhuis-trumpeter/ 

Meet Eliana Osorio Saldarriaga, Soprano
Hometown: Medellín, Colombia

I know from my own experience that musicians are agents of change. After joining my hometown music academy, I decided to give a series of free Christmas shows, including one for children living with cancer. I clearly remember, though it was many years ago, that I felt the kids’ sadness and hopelessness as soon as I arrived. Before the concert, one boy seemed especially sad, as if he was tired of fighting, as if all the light in his world had been reduced into darkness. As we started singing the first carol, I was trying—through my performance—to let them him and the other kids know that everything was going to be okay, that they needed to keep fighting in order to survive.

I started to see in the child’s eyes the light of hope as we sang. During the performance, his face suddenly changed into one big smile, glowing with happiness. It looked as if all darkness had disappeared, turning into light. I will never forget that moment, when I witnessed the power of music to move the heart of a person, completely. I then understood how music can transform people, and that musicians are indeed agents of change.

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During our present moment, full of uncertainty, we still share common feelings and remain connected to each other. A piece of music that reminds me of this positive connection is “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli. The piece notes the stormiest times, when the earth cries, when war and abuse of power make us blind, music is here to shelter us and brighten our days. It is a composition of hope and a ray of light.

My father taught me from a young age to persist and never give up. I love a phrase he always says to me: “we already have the NO, let’s go for the YES.” He’s the person who most inspired me to follow my musical path. He was a musician in his youth and when I was a child, he’d gather his siblings at our home to play music together. During those times, I felt the warmth and pure emotion that music projects when it’s played from the heart. Since that moment, I wanted to be a singer—then and for the rest of my life.

My goal is to learn everything that I possibly can to be a complete, well-rounded, and mature musician. The Longy Vocal Studies program will not only prepare me for a life in music but will do so with love and patience.

Longy welcomes people from all over the world, which will expand my horizons. I would like to share my knowledge, my voice, my advice, my happiness, my support, my language, and my Colombian traditions with my new classmates. I also look forward to learning a lot from my new colleagues and their various cultures—I always have an open mind.

In short, I feel that Longy is the perfect place for me. From the beginning, before I even applied, they were warm and attentive, calling me in person to answer every question with great kindness. I have also seen how their students create a supportive and inclusive family. That is what I have always sought—even if I am away from my family and my land, I know I will feel at home.

Meet Tyler James, Cello
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

“Longy is the right fit for me because of the intimate conservatory environment it provides and the noticeable kindness amongst its students and administration, and the quality of Longy’s faculty.

My favorite job was probably the national tour of Miss Saigon. I got to work with so many talented musicians, actors and dancers! My year on tour with Miss Saigon reminded me not only of the joy of music in my life, but also the importance of bringing music to the lives of others.

Seeing the impact this production had on 2,000 people every night inspired me. Asian-American audience members filled the house to see themselves represented on the big stage and identify with the sacrifices their own families made to move to America. Vietnam War GIs would be in tears—reflecting on their own lives and memories of unspeakable violence (my own parents are both Gulf War veterans).”

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“As a young person, I worked on a ranch in a tiny town in Virginia in exchange for music lessons. My least favorite chore was cleaning the roof of the barn, which was covered in spiders. You’d get up on this 8-foot ladder with a broom and some goggles and just hope you don’t fall off! 

In addition to my performing career, I’ve taught at El Sistema-like programs and worked in Concert Offices at various festivals. I enjoy working with people, whether it’s teaching or being part of a team—I take pride in my work ethic and kindness toward others.  

Our tour community sought to be good citizens on the road—volunteering at food pantries and making hundreds of meals for communities in need across the US. The pit musicians also developed a program for local elementary school orchestras to give young people an introduction to playing on Broadway. 

I hope to take everything I learned from my time with the show to be an agent of change as my own journey with the cello pushes onward at Longy.

Meet Emmanuel Ramirez, Jazz Guitar
Hometown: San Francisco, California, USA

Emmanuel is an electric guitarist and composer, by way of violin (age 9), piano (age 10) and video games. He received his first guitar at age 11 and developed a true passion. “What appealed to me about jazz was that it challenged me as a listener and a player but retained the vibrancy of spirit found in the blues, gospel, and R&B. Over time I began to infuse my music with more Latin and Classical traditions, while also finding new sonic ground in my trio. Simply put, it was great fun!

I learned that the changes I needed to make to keep improving as a musician—be patient, be a better listener, be more disciplined, and find joy and beauty in everyday life—were the same needed to be a better person overall. Practice is not just about flawless execution. All those hours spent refining our art help us make deep connections and a difference in people’s lives. These qualities enable me to connect with both bandmates and audiences.”

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“Last semester at Berklee, my jazz ensemble played standards and showtunes at Susan Balis Assisted Living Home in Boston. After our weekly performance wed stay to connect with the audience; I met Barbara during one of those visits. We usually sat next to each other, watching the other ensembles perform before it was my turn to take the stage. I would often hear her singing, clapping, and dancing in her wheelchair. She was the kind of engaged audience member I hope for during any show.  

I was often surprised by how elated and energized Barbara and her neighbors were—they would sing spontaneously, and we’d join with our instruments in an impromptu jam. To share this joy of music is meaningful for musicians and our audience. 

Although we were interpreting jazz standards in our own non-standard way, we went in with the intention of connecting with our audience. I realized that it is not necessary to sacrifice artistic integrity to reach a broad audience. I wanted people to feel included even if they were not jazz listeners; it just takes ingenuity and intention. 

Although virtuosity remains one of my main goals, my list has expanded to include working as an active jazz musician and teaching at the University level in the U.S. or abroad. Teaching young musicians—especially those for whom English is not a first language—will help me develop the skills to create my own programs once I leave Longy. I would like to develop programming geared and tailored toward immigrant communities and others who would not have access to music education otherwise. I personally benefitted from music lessons at a young age and I believe this is my time to make a difference for others.

Visit Emmanuel Ramirez’s website.

Meet Ellie MacPhee, Violin & MM/ME
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina, USA

“Music is incomparably humanizing,” offers Ellie MacPhee, who will be joining the first class of Longy’s new one-year Master of Music in Music Education program this fall.

Ellie grew up in South Carolina and began her path as a musician with traditional folk and bluegrass tunes, which propelled her to study classical violin. She has integrated her strong convictions about prison reform and community engagement—with her own artistry and leadership—to make a serious impact.

“I spent time doing outreach performances in the summer through ENCORE Chamber Music. During my sophomore year at Oberlin Conservatory, I attended a lecture about choir programs inside the prison systems; this inspired me to brainstorm ideas about how to involve strings in this important work.”

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To combine these two interests I felt passionately about, I directed a concert series at a nearby medium-security prison, Grafton Correctional Institution. I was struck by how deeply the inmates listened, and how profound it is to bring music to people from a variety of backgrounds.

Witnessing firsthand how prisons treat people as barely human—it became increasingly important to me to share music with the prison community.”

For more information about this issue, I recommend reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, both of which were highly influential in my journey.”

Meet Clara Liera, Piano
Hometown: Walnut, California, USA

“I have always wanted to be a performer and a mentor to others. Having learned from incredible teachers myself, I wish to contribute and give back to my community.

When I was young, I was not taught to read music properly: no notes, keys, nor time signatures. It wasn’t until I moved from Indonesia to the US at age 13 that I discovered how crucial musical notation was! Through effort, patience, and love, my teachers were able to open my eyes to a whole new world. I became sensitive to the significance of each nuance and the enormous effect of the smallest notation.

The process was not easy and my teachers’ persistence and trust in me means more than words could ever describe. These teachers are the people I most admire—and I wish to inspire positive change, as they do.”

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“I am the first trained musician in my family. I took piano lessons as a child to pass the time—but nobody expected that, after reading Beethoven’s biography in elementary school, my childish remark “I want to become a pianist like Beethoven!” would bring me to where I am today.   

I recognize the power of music to positively affect listeners. I’ve witnessed music lifting the soul of a dear friend during a time of depression. I also want to extend my heart through music, and create space for human connection. I know how it feels to not belong, and what it takes to overcome that feeling of isolation. Music does not need to be perfect to make this kind of difference, but it must be sincere and heart-felt.   

I value my friendships and the ability to create art in other realmsfood, painting, or writing. But in the end, music is my true passion. It nourishes me. It helps me make sense of life and understand how I can live to my fullest potential. 

Between my undergrad and grad auditions, I have seen many different musical environments. I do not seek just another place that will give me another degree. I seek a place where I can truly be nurtured while exploring my areas of passion.   

In keeping with that, Longy left a deep impression through the kind and caring faculty and students I have met. Longy offers what I need to grow into the musician I want to become. All I can say to other prospective students is: this school offers a completely unique environment and community that you must experience to fully understand. Give it a shot!

Meet Sam Smith, Jazz Bass
Hometown: Skaneateles, New York, USA

I have always believed that music can help heal people. My mom was a music therapist for most of her life, and she has told me many stories of how music transforms the lives of her clients, including students living with disabilities. Though it might take months to reach certain goals with her practice, the families of these students would express they were overjoyed with their progress over time.

My mom often speaks of an instance when she played a Bach Cello Suite for an elderly man who had not spoken a word in years. He unexpectedly got up and told her to stop; he wanted to hear some disco instead! She brought in a CD player and started to play disco, as requested, and he started dancing—it turns out he was a Vaudeville dancer back in the day! After hearing how music could make a person who hadn’t spoken or moved much in years get up and dance, I started to think about how my music could move people.

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When I started gigging, I would play festivals around Syracuse to raise money for young musicians who couldn’t afford lessons or instruments, and to benefit organizations that provided music in the community. It wasn’t until I moved to Boston in 2016 that I realized I could have an even broader impact with my music.

I started to play with other musicians who prioritized our community’s needs. We began donating album sales to homeless shelters and playing festivals to raise money and awareness for people hurt by gentrification in the Greater Boston Area. It feels amazing to play for a great cause, especially when everyone in the audience is singing and dancing along to the music.

I’ve been truly inspired by three bassists: Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Charles Mingus, and Scott LaFaro. To someone just starting out, I would say: Listen to the greats! Study what they’re doing, study what their inspirations are, study the history of the music they play, and most importantly, play what you study. You can practice and study all you want, but music is meant to be heard. If you put in the work and enjoy it, nothing can go wrong.

I am a very driven person who enjoys learning. I chose Longy because I wish to further my knowledge and exploration of jazz. I look forward to playing with other talented students and learning more about its theory and fascinating history. I can’t wait to grow my musical network in the city of Boston and become the successful musician I want to be!

samsmithbass.com

Meet Kalden Alexander and Robbie Milner, Piano and Baritone
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Longy’s graduate degree in Chamber Music is the start of our professional training as a piano-voice duo. It’s an ideal opportunity to establish ourselves as performers in the recital genre, with our focus on American repertoire, and new compositions Kalden plans to write at Longy for us to perform together.

As a composition student, you’re always trying to get your music performed, heard, and exposed. Longy is unique in its approach: with the school’s Catalyst Curriculum, there’s a Custom Commission requirement that ensures performers and composers work together as part of every graduate degree. And not just because the composers need this groundwork for their careers—Longy stresses the importance of new works and collaboration with composers for all performers.

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We originally met through Longy’s system of pairing a collaborative pianist with a singer from the vocal performance department. This meant we had a weekly rehearsal time, worked together in voice lessons, and had performance opportunities in both voice studio and collaborative piano seminars.  

It’s difficult to get new music performed, heard, and exposed (as most young composers–at least in this country–will probably agree!) As a composition student, you’re always writing music, collaborating, and trying to create a portfolio of recordings. But even in music school the experience you need can be difficult to build from the ground up. 

Longy is unique in its approach to addressing these issues for composition students. As part of its dedication to new music and the Catalyst Curriculum, theres a Custom Commission requirement that ensures performers and composers work together as part of every graduate degree. This enables composers to get recordings and performances of their work from their own high-caliber peers, while at Longy. 

But it’s not just because the composers need this groundwork for their professional careers; Longy also stresses the importance of new works for all performance majors and provides them the experience of collaborating with a composer and premiering new works. 

Beyond Custom Commission, there are also a wide range of course offerings that familiarize students with contemporary practice and require both composing and performing. As a result of this emphasis, Longy has allowed us to involve ourselves in a network that supports our own endeavors of creating and performing new music. 

This is a rare opportunity for us to develop our professional skills and plan the starting point for our music careers, while still being surrounded by the guidance and resources of a conservatory. We’re excited to be able to experiment with the limits of what collaborative music can do–and to develop our own, independent artistic selves, in anticipation of making our mark in the world. 

Meet Lauren Florek, Soprano
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Authenticity and honesty are essential to communicating the intentions behind the music—and how I want the audience to feel during a performance. 

The moment my career goals crystallized was Musica nelle Marche’s summer program in Urbino, Italy, where I studied La Bohème’s Mimi and performed her aria Donde lieta usci. I’m always amazed that people can relate to this opera from over a hundred years ago, in another language, but it’s because music has the power to share stories and messages in a way that makes them feel immediate and relevant.

By the third performance, I connected to Mimi in a way I never had before—it felt very natural, as if I were just showing another part of myself. Afterward, the audience and my teachers told me how much the experience affected them emotionally and how genuine my embodiment of the character was. Before that night, I had never felt my impact on an audience in this way—it makes the work really fulfilling!

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I want every performance to have this kind of meaningful impact; this drives me and inspires me to go further in my career. I take a holistic approach to my music, and always seek to add some of myself to every performance. And when learning any piece, I challenge myself to find inspiration in my own life, to genuinely channel each character.  

To create a deep physical connection in my performances, I have also been studying dance, including ballet at the Joffrey Ballet and Modern Dance at DePaul with Lin Khan. Learning how to express myself emotionally in this purely physical medium helps me incorporate my entire body in performancesand take command of the space on stage.  

I chose Longy to continue my graduate studies and refine my craft so that I can continue to affect audiences in such meaningful ways. The small class sizes and individual attention from world-class faculty is a perfect fit for me, to grow as a communicator and performer. 

I also plan to become more involved in outreach, which is one of Longy’s strengthssharing classical music in communities that do not have easy access to it and raising awareness of nonwestern music and music by composers of color. I am currently studying Filipino folk songs with the help of family members who are native Tagalog speakers.