Hometown: Shorewood, Minn.
Piece: Roger Quilter — 7 Elizabethan Lyrics, Op.12, No. 6 "By a Fountainside"
Why do you love to perform?
How can all 7.442 billion people in our world come together? How can we put our unique backgrounds aside, come to the same playing ground, and truly connect? For me, the answer lies with music. Music is a universal language. I discovered this most clearly when I was a member of the Minnesota All-State Choir. We sang a chinese piece, "The Great Wall," which told the story of a man condemned to the outside of the wall, never to return. In the music, the repetitive, dissonant, and drawn out chords allowed the listener to grasp the community's desperation for the man to stay, while the heterophonic section demonstrates the anger they felt toward the overarching society. The final chord of the song was what resonated the most for me. This 16 part chord was so powerful, so desperate, that even in performance I found it difficult to sing because I truly wanted to cry. But how? How did it make me cry when I didn't even understand the words? The answer lies within the music, within the unexplainable and universal emotion we feel when we clear our minds and allow ourselves to get lost in the sounds of music. When I perform or write my own music, I look to this universality, because, in my hands, I have the power to make people connect. Simply put: Music, the universal language, has the power to bring all 7.442 people in this world together if we simply listen.