What education have you taken?
I went to Vincent Massey High School in Brandon and graduated with honours. I auditioned to the School of Music at Brandon University as a clarinet major and began attending in the fall after graduation. I am now in my third year of my music performance degree and plant to graduate next year.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I am very proud of the five scholarships I have received throughout my university degree: the President’s Brandon Festival of the Arts Scholarship in 2014, the Brandon University Board of Governors’ Entrance Scholarship in 2014, and the Phillippa Saul Memorial Bursary in Arts and Music in 2015 and 2016. I was a member of the Brandon University Music Students council for two years, from 2014 to 2016. In 2014, I was accepted as a member of the National Youth Band of Canada.
Tell me about yourself.
I love using my creative side. In addition to music, I have taken interest in ceramic art and have been able to build that skill with the classes offered at BU. I also like cooking, travelling, and spending time outside.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I started piano lessons when I was four years old, and when I began attending public school, I became involved in the band program. I became serious about music in high school. My band teacher, Brent Campbell, had a great influence on me. I was enrolled in all the music ensembles in addition to taking piano, clarinet, and saxophone lessons outside of school. I began playing with the Brandon University Symphonic band in grade eleven and continued until I was a student at BU. Coming to BU was a natural path for me. My clarinet teach, Dr. Cathy Wood, has had a great influence on me throughout my lessons with her high school and my time with her throughout my University degree thus far.
What is your philosophy in life?
It is okay to make mistakes; that is how we learn. Always strive to keep moving forward.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
After I graduate from BU, I hope to attend graduate school to get my masters degree in clarinet performance. I would like to move to a bigger city and explore more avenues of opportunity.
I would like to nominate BU Music student, Alyssa English.
I have known Alyssa for six years. Alyssa has studied Applied Clarinet with me for 3 years (and 3 years private study prior to university studies). Alyssa is a leader and mentor for her peers. She is currently the section leader in the BU Symphonic Band and holds a leadership role in the BU Clarinet Choir. She is one of the most mature and empathetic students I have ever taught. She leads by example and with kindness, inspiring those around her to follow her example. To my knowledge, she maintains high grades in all her classes and ensembles – she has been on the Dean’s Honour list each year. In addition to achieving and maintaining high academic standards, Alyssa performs at a very high level. She has won several classes at the Brandon Arts Festival over the years. Alyssa was among the students who traveled to Baton Rouge to represent BU at the International Clarinet association Clarinet Fest in 2014.
Alyssa not only sets an example for others in her academic work and performance standards but she also demonstrates true leadership in the way she treats others with respect and kindness. My colleagues also recognize and comment on Alyssa’s professionalism and achievements—several have told me that she is a pleasure to teach and is an impressive performer.
She deserves to be honoured and recognized.