Give a little general information about yourself: How did you become interested in music? How old were you when you began making music? What made you decide to major in music?
I was very young when I became interested in music. My dad would play his vinyl and I would sing and dance around the living room with him. I am very lucky that my parents realized my passion for music at a young age. They bought me an iPod in elementary school and loaded all of their music onto it, and I would listen to it all the time. From then on I was eager to learn how to play an instrument. I wanted to play guitar more than anything because all of the music I listened to had an electric guitar in it. My dad said it would be better for me to learn the piano. I was not exactly thrilled about this at the moment, but it ended up being the best thing he ever did for my musical career. I started taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and did not stop until high school. When I got to middle school I realized that I had a talent for music and that it was what I really wanted to do. In middle school, my parents bought me a drum kit because I loved how fun it was to play drums, but I chose to play saxophone in the sixth-grade band and that is when I fell in love with jazz music. Throughout high school, my life revolved around band. I was in the jazz band and jazz combo and played drums in the marching band and played in many district ensembles. I ended up deciding to study jazz at UNC Charlotte after Dr. Will Campbell was the clinician for my all-district band. I knew I wanted to study with him the day I met him. I knew I wanted to major in music because it was the thing that made me happy every day.
What kind of career do you hope to have?
I hope to have a career where I can play the music I love and teach the future generation about the music that inspired me the same way so many of my teachers have done for me.
What is your favorite thing about UNC Charlotte, the College of Arts + Architecture, or the music department?
My favorite thing about the music department at UNC Charlotte is the environment I get to study in every day. I get to study with an incredible jazz faculty who go above and beyond to provide me and my colleagues with the resources and opportunities we need to grow to become successful musicians.
Do you participate in any community cultural activities or work in the Charlotte arts community? If so, please describe.
I have performed at the Charlotte Jazz Festival and play at many local restaurants and events to give back to the arts community.
When you are not in class, studying, working or practicing/rehearsing, what do you like to do for fun?
My favorite thing to do outside of school is listening to live music with my friends. There are so many great venues that world-class musicians perform at in Charlotte that I try to take advantage of it whenever I can. Even if there is not a great concert to go to I love sitting around listening to great music with my friends.