Emily Diehl

What education have you taken?

I currently have a bilingual (French/English) International Baccalaureate diploma, and I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in May 2014.

I went to a French Immersion school from first to eighth grade; prior to that, I spent preschool and kindergarten at a Montessori school in Winnipeg.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am particularly proud of my musical accomplishments including the Brandon Sun Rose Bowl and the Order of the Eastern Star, both trophies awarded by the Brandon Festival of the Arts, for top Grade A vocalist and top Grade B vocalist, respectively. In academia, I have received a number of awards and I am a member of Brandon University’s chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society. I have maintained a position on the Dean’s Honour List and the President’s Honour Society through the first three years of my degree.

I am also very proud of my involvement in the restructuring and rebuilding of The Quill, BU’s student newspaper, where I have worked since my first year.  I have been heavily involved in reorganizing the newspaper, both from an editorial standpoint as assistant editor-in-chief (in my second year) and as editor-in-chief (from my third year to the present), and from a corporate standpoint in my involvement in the Board of Directors.

Tell me about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I grew up just outside of Winnipeg, the oldest daughter of four children.  My mother is pursuing greenspace management at Red River College and my father is a software developer in the field of business intelligence. Both my parents are musical and have been at one time or another semi-professional musicians; my mother writes songs in her spare time while my father is involved in the Winnipeg jazz scene.

My interests are fairly wide, but many of them fall within the scope of storytelling and art.  I love to write – mainly fiction, and occasionally poetry.  I also enjoy playing video games, interactive fiction and indie games.  I like reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, as well as historical fiction.  When I get the chance, I like watching TV and movies in the same genres.  I’ve attempted gardening in the past few years, but have not had much success – I intend to try learning knitting and canning this fall.  I also enjoy cooking and baking, and I like wirework and beadwork, too.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I love stories.  I love music. Classical singing is just one way in which I have chosen to explore life – one way of telling stories. I got started on the career path of professional singer when I fell in love with The Phantom of the Opera when I was about 12.  The story fascinated me; it also didn’t hurt that I discovered that I could sing along with it quite effectively, and that doing so was great fun.

I am discovering the personal satisfaction and fulfilment that comes from portraying characters on the stage: it is an environment where one is at once incredibly vulnerable and incredibly empowered.  On stage, whether in spoken theatre or sung works, as well as in writing, I have the ability to speak into people’s minds, hearts, and souls. I believe that my job is not only to hold a mirror up to the world, but also to be a window onto the world.

What is your philosophy in life?

Plan your plan B: stay open to opportunities and possibilities.  Find joy everywhere you can.  Prioritize, and put self-care at the top of the list.  Change, learn, listen, observe, respect, seek to understand.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I am getting married at the end of April.  Once that Herculean task is done, I plan to spend some time being a freelance artist and musician, exploring various career path options while building my marriage.  I believe I will likely attend grad school at some point, and depending on how that goes, I may pursue doctoral studies – but it’s all up in the air at this point.  I want to make art and tell stories; how I do that will change, I expect, over the years.

Nominator’s Comments

Emily raises the level of discourse of any class she has taken with me. She’s a very talented singer, she is an exceptional writer and serves as editor of the Quill. Emily is very worthy of this recognition.