What education have you taken?
I graduated from Vincent Massey High School in Brandon in 2013. I auditioned to the School of Music at Brandon University on saxophone and began my degree in the fall of the same year. I am currently in my fifth and final year in the concurrent bachelor of music/ bachelor of education program, with a focus on instrumental music and a teachable minor in mathematics.
What accomplishments (awards, scholarships, volunteer work, organizations,
memberships, etc) are you proud of?
I am proud to have been a part of the Brandon University Student Music Educators Association (BUSMEA) for three years of my degree. I began as a student representative in my second year, and became the president of the council throughout my third and fourth year. BUSMEA organizes professional development opportunities for the music education community to supplement their educational experience at Brandon University. The council puts on the annual Da Capo Conference, which is an event that includes workshops and seminars designed to enrich the learning of music educators in the community. I have gained a lot of leadership skills through being apart of this council and I value the experiences I’ve had over the past few years.
I have spent every year of my degree volunteering as the Vocal Jazz Venue Coordinator for the Brandon Jazz Festival, which takes place annually in March. In the past, I have also volunteered at various community events like the YMCA Spring Run and the CIBC Run for the Cure.
In 2013 and 2014, I was placed on the Honours List, and was placed on the Dean’s Honour List in 2015 and 2016. I was inducted into the President’s Honour Society in the 2016 school year as well. I received a Brandon University Board of Governors Entrance Scholarship in 2013, and both the Don Wright Scholarship in Music Education (Instrumental Music) and the Brandon University Alumni Association Award in the School of Music in 2017.
I am currently working with three of my peers and a professor on an article titled Understanding Diverse Perspectives On Informal Music Participation Towards Increased Involvement In School Music, which aims to demonstrate the value of music education and how educators can make it more accessible and appealing to a wider range of musical backgrounds and interests. We are in the process of publishing our article in an international journal about music education. We had the opportunity to present our findings at the Manitoba Education Research Network (MERN) Conference in the fall of 2016.
Tell us about yourself/ your background/ your history.
I was born in Brandon, Manitoba and I have two very supportive parents and one brother. I grew up as a very busy child, involved in gymnastics, synchronized swimming, dance, volunteering, and more. I am proud to say that I have been volunteering and working at the Brandon YMCA for over 11 years now and it has become my second home. I am currently a duty manager, member services representative, and a child minding worker. I have worked in various departments for preschool and youth day camps/ programs as well. It has always been priority that I believe in the work that I do, and I am thankful that I can work with a non-profit organization that supports wellness in the community and welcomes everyone. The YMCA has shaped who I am today in many ways, and I have acquired so numerous valuable qualities through working with this team.
If I’m not at the Y, a lot of my summertime takes place at Clear Lake in the beautiful Riding Mountain National Park. I’ve enjoyed working at a local retail boutique in town over the past few summers. I like spending as much time as I can outside and on the lake, and making use of my proudly earned boat license.
I also love dogs, long distance running, and baking.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I started piano lessons when I was four years old, and continued with them until the end of high school. I began playing the saxophone in grade 8, after one year of playing clarinet in my grade 7 band program. I really enjoyed music in elementary school, and when I arrived at high school I became heavily involved with the music program. I took part in all of the instrumental and choral music ensembles offered, became involved with musical theatre productions, and grew to have a strong passion for music. My high school band teacher, Brent Campbell, and high school choir teacher, Marla Fontaine, became great mentors of mine. I began taking saxophone lessons in my final year of high school and auditioned to the School of Music with aspirations of becoming a high school band teacher. Through working with kids at my part-time job, and developing a love for music in my high school music program, I knew that becoming a band teacher was the right path for me.
What is your philosophy in life?
Not every day is good, but there is something good in every day. Work hard and be humble.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
After graduating this spring, I hope to find a job teaching middle or high school band. I anticipate finding a job where my partner, Matt, and I can both find music teaching positions. Although I am not one right now, I plan to be a future dog owner as well.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day we are writing to nominate a group of four women. Although the call for nominations asks for individual nominations, we believe that these women, working together, are greater in partnership than one could ever imagine.
Kelsey Demond, Emily Hodge, Jennifer Kennedy, and Abby Ziprick are students in the five year concurrent Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education program. Since 2013 they have established a culture of leadership – earmarked by effort and improvement – by providing leadership in Brandon University Student Music Educators Association (BUSMEA) and Brandon University Music Students (BUMS), service to school and community in outreach and Open House, artistry in performance, and excellence in scholarship. These are simply the beginning of their contributions to their university, community, and chosen profession – music education. Greg Gatien, Dean of the School of Music remarked, “They are incredible; these students raise one another to a new level.” They recognize and celebrate one another’s strengths and increase their own learning in the process. Their continuous willingness to contribute makes them truly outstanding recipients.