I came to New Haven, CT just three years ago and while the time has indeed flown by, I’ve been lucky to gain more than I could have hoped for in terms of experience, knowledge, and musicianship. At the same time, I’m now exceedingly aware of my shortcomings as an artist. The difference is that this time around, I’m more at peace with this knowledge. I’ve gained a plethora of tools from my time at Yale that will allow me to continue to grow as an artist throughout my career. I’d once foolishly hoped to have it all learned before I stepped onto the stage of a great opera house, but now I know that the real experience and knowledge is to be gained on those very stages. As I now move on from one chapter to the next, I’m comforted that they aren’t too dissimilar. I’m still learning and growing, and that’s just fine.
I was given the honor of receiving The Presser Foundation Music Award, which is presented to “an outstanding student, to advance his or her music education.” This award will prove to be VERY useful in the coming months, as I make my foray into this world without student loans!
Of course, this is my second graduation from Yale. in 2011 I received the Master of Music and now I have followed up with the Artist Diploma. Although, It has been while working on my Artist Diploma in particular that I was able to solidify many of my skills and much confidence as a performing artist.
I must extend my thanks to Richard and Doris Cross for all of their wisdom and support over the last three years. Douglas Dickson, Timothy Shaindlin, Marc Verzatt, and Kyle Swann are all world class coaches, and I owe them tons of thanks for all the help they gave me during my time at Yale.
I had already exceeded my educational expectations by graduating with my Bachelor’s degree from Millikin University. Two degrees from the likes of Yale is something I never could have imagined for myself, coming from the small farm town of Cerro Gordo on the Illinois countryside. It seemed to be an impossible dream, which was something I didn’t allow myself to have. I have been pleasantly surprised, to say the least, by this turn of events.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited that all of this schooling is finally OVER!!! Congratulations, Yale Class of 2012!!!