Jessi Gilchrist

Jessi Gilchrist

What education have you taken?

I was homeschooled throughout high school and took my high school education online through Credenda Virtual Online High School.

Right now, I’m in my third year of a Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance and a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in History.

I’ve taken music exams through the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Trinity College of London.

I have completed a Grade 10 Certificate in piano and cello, and a grade eight certificate in saxophone from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

From the Trinity College of London, I have completed a Associate Diploma (ATCL) and a Licentiate Diploma (LTCL) In Flute Performance.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I’m very honoured to be the recipient of the Chernoff Family Award, which I received as an entrance scholarship for the highest high school academic average of students applying for that year. I have also received a number of scholarships from both the School of Music and the history department including the J.W ‘Bill’ Cowan String Bursary, G.F. Macdowell Scholarship in History 54.154, Helen C. Riesberry Scholarship in History, Shirley Craig Scholarship in Music for Saskatchewan Students, and the General Proficiency Scholarship in Second Year Music.

I performed a non-credit recital last year, and this year I am performing my Third Year Recital on February 26th, which will feature contemporary flute repertoire.

I have also had the opportunity to present my research at the Manitoba Symposium for Music Research and the BU School of Music’s Out of Bounds lecture series in December.

I am a member of the American Musicological Society, Society of Music Theory, and the Canadian University Music Society.

Tell me about yourself.

I grew up on an acreage near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. My parents didn’t farm, but they had somewhat of a hobby farm with sheep and horses. I’ve always had a love for animals. I brought my cocker spaniel and golden retriever with me to Brandon.

Throughout my childhood I experimented with a variety of hobbies and activities before realizing my passion for music. I was interested in skating, horseback riding, swimming, and dance. My parents always encouraged me to try different things.

How did you become interested in your fields of study?

My first field of study – History:  I am very interested in political history and international relations.

Throughout my life my parents have always encouraged me to think critically and ask questions about the world around me. I think that their encouragement really influenced my love for research in both history and music. Prior to studying at BU, however, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a researcher or an academic. I thought that I wanted to solely focus on music. But I have had the opportunity to take courses with many great professors during my time at BU, and they have shown me the both the excitement of research, as well as the opportunity for creativity in writing papers.

My second field of study – Music: I am currently in the performance stream of the Bachelor of Music degree at BU. I’m interested in 20th and 21st century flute repertoire and chamber music. I am also intrigued by the relationship between music and politics in the 19th and 20th centuries which I have studied in my music history courses.

I joined band when I was in grade 5, but I didn’t immediately realize I wanted to be a musician. I had always enjoyed music, but I didn’t think that It was something I would pursue as a career, instead I considered it more of a hobby. I did not start taking music more seriously until I was in grade 9, when I started taking flute, piano, cello, and saxophone lessons. I started preparing for exams for the Royal Conservatory of Music and found the goal of an exam highly motivating. In 2013, I joined the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra as principal flutist and came to realize that music was something I wanted to dedicate my life to. I found the energy of the collective sound, effort, and focus of each individual that comprised orchestra an invigorating experience. Once I came to BU I had the opportunity to work on chamber music and duo repertoire, which I now find even more engaging.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy on life is that you should pursue your dreams, whatever those dreams may be, but also to appreciate every day for what it is. Although it can be a challenge, I try to embrace everything that is a work in progress and enjoy the process as much as the finished product. I hope to continue to learn new things throughout my life whether it is in an institutional setting or not. I think that honesty, kindness, hard work and dedication are key to success and happiness.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I plan to pursue my education to the doctoral level. I plan to acquire a PhD in either musicology or music theory. Ultimately, I hope to become a professor at a university. I also hope to be a professional flutist in either a flute and piano duo or chamber music.

Nominator’s comments:

I would like to nominate Ms. Jessi Gilchrist to be featured as an exceptional student.

Jessi is an amazing young scholar. She is working in three diverse fields. She is studying towards a degree in History, in Music performance, and Musicology. She is amazingly bright and diligent. As a first-year student, her paper in my history class would have an earned an A+ in a third-year seminar. In her second year, her paper for my third-year class would have earned an A in any graduate seminar. She writes effectively, researches thoroughly, and is capable of integrating exceptionally challenging material. She does not rest on her laurels, however, but continually accepts new challenges to stretch her abilities as she seeks consistently to improve. She continues to earn extraordinarily high marks in all of her history classes. Adding to the honours degree in history, she also is a flute performance major. She studies with Nancy Hennen as a flute major, and with Dr. Colette Simonot in Musicology. Last term, if I understand it correctly, Jessi was taking a graduate research methods course, and she wrote an exceptionally interesting paper for Dr. Simonot as well. It frankly surpasses my understanding, but Jessi is able to accomplish all of this work while taking an enormous overload of courses that would have broken me at the same stage in my studies. In any event, I think Jessi would exemplify the tremendously innovative and exciting work that our majority of young female scholars are pursuing at BU.