Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
Senior Project submitted to The Division of Arts of Bard College
My time at Bard has led me to all kinds of academic, musical, social, and professional worlds that have shaped me into the musician and person I am today. That is not to say that there were not any bumps in the road along the way. After my freshman year at Bard, which was admittedly one of the hardest years of my life, I had spiraled into an unbelievable amount of anxiety socially, musically, and academically and it became very evident that I needed time to figure out these newly exploded anxieties. I took a year off from Bard after freshman year. Throughout this entire 2 year span of depression, self-harm, and lack of confidence there was one thing that stayed constant throughout, my love of music. I played piano every single day while I was trying to get through the mountains and it was the only thing that truly kept me grounded in myself, kept me aware that all the other stuff I was going through could be surpassed if I had only the time to introspectively reflect in the medium of music. I performed a few times on my year off, testing the anxiety waters, and realized that after all of this turmoil the main thing that kept me going was sharing the capability of playing music that I have with others. I gave up the idea of performing for “the glory” or even performing to impress as that turned me into a lesser musician and pursued the true meaning of music: to help others bring new light into their worlds through profound experiences and momentary yet infinite emotions.
This concert is a personal triumph. It is a manifestation of all the turmoils and successes I have had at Bard and beyond in the past five years. I am not doing this for myself, but rather for the music and for the people that have written the music. When starting to plan my second senior concert, I wanted to make sure that there was something for everyone and that it was a truly collaborative process with the orchestra. We are debuting two student orchestral works written by graduating Bardians as well as two iconic works from the 20th Century that have helped mold me in the past few years. I have put together a group of more than 30 musicians in order to make this concert happen and it has been an absolute pleasure as everyone in the group is working collectively to make something very special.
This project is also a leap into the future as I will be doing the Graduate Conducting Program next year. It is a training ground that will propel me throughout the rest of my career.
The concert is titled “21st Century Orchestral Studies” in an attempt to approach orchestral music in a modern lens. Most if not all art funding is being severely cut as we get further into the 21st Century and I believe the question has to be asked: What has to change in the 21st Century to bring the interest back into the concert hall? We are doing four unbelievably individual works in order to create an atmosphere and program that has new ideas and material at every turn.
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McKinnon, Jackson Montgomery, "21st Century Orchestral Studies" (2016). Senior Projects Spring 2016. 156.