Visual and Performing Arts
- College of Arts and Sciences, Honors College
- Music: Piano Performance
- Ellensburg, Washington
President of Allegro, WSU’s student association for music advocacy, where he launched the Allegro Concert Series in response to arts cuts on campus; organized partnership between School of Music, Department of Fine Arts, and Black Student Union to bring cellist, visual artist, and activist Paul Rucker to WSU; and organized guest artist series with performers such as Hollywood film composer, studio musician, and WSU alumnus Paul Henning. Founding member, Arts Without Borders—organized recital featuring student compositions and artwork. Guest conducted WSU Symphony Orchestra, composed original music with student poetry for junior recital as protest against budget cuts, published original composition in the Honors College literary journal Palouse Review, sang and played piano for God’s Harmony Gospel Choir, substituted as an organist at Pullman churches, guest lectured at Whitworth University, performed at music festivals around the world. Presented research at Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Collegiate Symposium, and National Collegiate Honors Council Conference.
Received a Fulbright U.S. Student award to London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Won the 2016 and 2017 Washington State MTNA Young Artist Competition, 2018 WSU Concerto/Aria Competition performed with WSU Symphony Orchestra, 2018 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Multi-Mic Category with God’s Harmony Gospel Choir, gold medals at Musicfest Northwest in 2017 (two-piano) and 2016 (romantic and contemporary categories). Received the WSU President’s Award for Leadership, Emeritus Society Excellence Award for Research and Scholarship in the Arts and Humanities, first place in student posters (social justice category) at the 2018 National Collegiate Honors Council National Conference, Phi Beta Kappa, and many other scholarships and other awards.
Favorite WSU experience
The Paul Rucker performance was pretty spectacular. I loved that it was in a new place on campus, the Spark Building, where he performed cello with multimedia. There were nine projectors where he was sharing, through music, his research on slavery and mass incarceration in the United States. For example, he collects artifacts from the Jim Crow era like lynching postcards and sets music to them. It was powerful to have music be a catalyst for conversation. The music opened us up so we could talk about these issues. That’s what I love about the power of music here. It’s what Paul Rucker brought and it’s what I hope to bring to my performances.
I plan to come back to the U.S. after my Fulbright and pursue a second degree. University teaching may be in my future, but the school has given me so many experiences and now I’m excited to see what life is like as a musician outside of academics. I’ll likely have a small piano studio, accompany other musicians, have an organist or pianist or choir director job at a church. I’ll look for opportunities to perform and share the research I’ve done here.