When you come to Peabody, you’re coming to an institution with great tradition, a long and deep tradition, 160 years of great training of professional musicians. But you’re also coming to a school with a layer of innovation that focuses on 21st century music skills, around communication, around audience development, community connectivity, and technology. All of the skills that you’re going to need to become a musician in the 21st century. I’m studying with CJ Chang; he’s the principal violist at the Philadelphia Orchestra. I really appreciate the level of detail that I found myself looking for in my own playing. How meticulous I’ve become as a player and I look forward to becoming more meticulous, more committed to playing the best music that I can, and I’m really lucky to have him to guide me. Musical excellence has always been a hallmark of the education at Peabody, but now we’re expanding on that with our new ensembles program. When I look at these opportunities that we offer at Peabody, the most important thing is that we’re offering them something that they may experience later in their career. When I was learning the trumpet, it’s very focused on that skill. You’re learning “I need to play scales, I need to learn intervals, I have to be more consistent with my tone and intonation, I have to be better with articulation, I need to learn how to fit in with an ensemble.” And once those skills start to fall into place you need more. What do I desire out of a career in music? Do I want to teach, or do I want to find myself in an orchestra or a band somewhere playing professionally full-time, or do I want to engage in some new way? What I’m really excited about right now, at Peabody, is seeing our students go out into the community in so many different ways, so that they gain the expertise, and the confidence, and the skills to be able to take this beyond Peabody, and become leaders in this field of citizen artistry. Last year I got the opportunity to volunteer for this program that we were doing with United Way. I was able to visit the Center for Urban Families here in Baltimore. They asked me to sing for a class that they had. So I just sang my song and afterwards their response was really amazing because I felt like what I was doing was such a small thing, but they really just loved it. Being part of these opportunities reminded me why I wanted to be a musician in the first place. It reminded me that it’s all about feeling and giving. It really was an experience that I think I only could have gotten here at Peabody. To connect with your art and to the community. Been really exciting to get to be a part of the process. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that we passed something good to other people. Come to Peabody, become a great musician, become a 21st century musician, and change the world.