Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a musician. I’ve always enjoyed making up songs, singing (even though I’m not very good at it), and playing various instruments in elementary school music. I was in 4th grade when I got my first cello. That was when my grandma told me that I could go to college on a cello scholarship, since not a lot of people play it. It became a dream come true when I auditioned for a music scholarship here at Hastings my senior year of high school, and was awarded $5,000. Of course, I didn’t choose to come here just for the money. Hastings College is a pretty pricey penny. Here are the seven reasons why I chose to pursue my career in music here at HC.
1.The amazing faculty.
The music faculty at Hastings are incredibly talented, intelligent, caring professors. I look up to them with the utmost respect. The professors really want to help me grow as a student, and as a musician. Under Dr. Jensen’s teaching, I’ve grown exponentially as a cellist in my year and a half here. And now under Dr. Baxter, I expect to continue that trend. Additionally, the faculty really care about you as a person. My freshman year, I had a major depressive episode, and it was my class piano teacher, Cindy Murphy, who reached out to me and encouraged me to start seeing the counselors on campus. During my senior year of high school, I got to sit in on Dr. Rhodes’ Medieval/Renaissance music history course and immediate fell in love with the subject. Now I’m taking the Romantic/20th Century course, and I’m loving every minute of it.
2. The friendly atmosphere.
When I toured Hastings and was greeted by my friendly guide, she told me that she was involved with music and theatre and that she loved it. This absolutely helped me decide that pursuing music at Hastings would be a good choice. While she showed me around campus, everyone we ran into was friendly and seemed happy to see a prospective student. When I started school the fall of 2015, I made my own group of friends who I love dearly. I can’t imagine a world without them. They’ve helped me get through difficult times, and I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done for me.
3. The class size.
I came from a large high school, with approximately 500-odd people in my graduating class. I knew that if I went to a large school like UNL, I’d get lost in a sea of people. That’s why I like that at Hastings, my classes have at most about 15 people in them. In fact, my instrumental conducting class only has two other students besides myself. I love the small class sizes because I know the education I’m getting can be more personalized. I’m not just a dot in the back of a 200-seat lecture hall, the professors actually know my name.
4. The scholarship opportunities.
As I mentioned above, going to school on a music scholarship has been a dream of mine. I knew Hastings College was expensive, but when I found out how much scholarship money I was awarded for talent and academics, as well as a few need-based scholarships, I was blown away.
5. Opportunities to get involved.
There's so many ensembles here at Hastings: band, choir, bell choir, vocal jazz choir, jazz band, orchestra, a new, student-led mariachi band, and a Capella groups. There's also Sigma Alpha Iota, a national music sorority, and Sinfonia, a national music fraternity. I’m involved in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, and the Hastings College Bell Choir. I joined bell choir my freshman year, and found something I love. Before coming to Hastings, I had no idea how to ring handbells. I didn't even know bell choirs existed. But since joining, I've been on two tours, and made new friends.
6. Everyone is treated like family.
Fuhr Hall has become my home away from home. Between classes and the many hours of practicing, I spend my time hanging out with my friends in the lounge, doing homework or joking around. Even in times of adversity, the students, faculty, and staff that make up the music department band together and offer support and encouragement. I couldn't ask for a better second family.
7. It just seemed right.
The moment I stepped on campus in October 2015, for my tour of campus, I knew this was the place I wanted to be. It was a nice, warm, sunny day. The campus looked beautiful. Everyone I met was friendly and answered all of my questions. As I walked around on my tour, I could picture myself walking around campus as a student. It was a wonderful experience. I toured Nebraska Wesleyan in November, and it was a less than pleasant experience. It was a cold, rainy day, but despite the weather I just didn't feel like I would do well there. When I toured Hastings, I got to meet with professors from both the music and theatre departments. But when I toured Wesleyan, I didn't get to do that because they all had classes. I felt like I wasn't important enough for them to take time out of their day. It was a huge factor in my decision to go Hastings. I'm so glad I made the right choice.My experience at Hastings College has been amazing. I love all my professors and my friends. For any prospective students, no matter what your major, Hastings College is an experience like no other, and you will be so glad that you came.