Seth Patterson Dec 19 spotlight.pngSeth Patterson is a Junior at CMU studying Musical Theatre. He has been involved in many CMU productions such as Fool For Love by Sam Shepard, Shrek: The Musical, Sweeney Todd, Ragtime, and Punk Rock by Simon Stephens. Seth has been awarded the Academic Prestige Award, the Maroon and Gold Scholarship, the Leader Advancement Scholarship, the Music Theatre Academic Scholarship, and the Irving N. Smith Scholarship. 

"...being a musician is not about being impressive,
but it’s about being genuine." 


What is your favorite thing about our school of music?
The community and the atmosphere of the building. I love the open space, and the people who fill it.  

What is your favorite opportunity that you've had as a musician at CMU?
Italy for Musicians in the summer of 2019. I am blessed to attend a university that can send a small group of artists to the birthplace of modern art.  

What are life lessons that you've learned through music at CMU?
I’ve learned how to treat people professionally. I have come to find that being a musician is not about being impressive, but it’s about being genuine. That’s how you move people. What a wonderful and profound thing to do with life. 

What are things you've learned about yourself because of your time at CMU?
“You can do anything, but you cannot do everything” CMU has many opportunities if you look for them, and you might be interested in A LOT of them (like me), but you get more out of your time if you slow down and do a few great things with a few great people. 

Past Student Spotlights​

Abigail

Abigail Mullis

Battle Creek, MI
Piano Performance

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Abigail Mullis is a Senior studying Piano Performance. Abigail currently accompanies vocal students, solo instrumentalists, and performs in a piano duo. She is the recipient of the 2019 Central Michigan University Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishments Grant, the 2018 Central Michigan University Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishments Provost Award, and the 2017 Central Michigan University John N. Irwin Piano Competition Winner.

In pursuit of her passion and exploration of community music, Abigail has started an Adult Piano Class at the Isabella County Medical Care Facility. She fully believes there are no age restrictions when it comes to music and it has been a joy to work with these senior citizens. Abigail would like to give a special thank you to her piano professor, Dr. Alexandra Mascolo-David for her never-ending support and guidance.

What is your favorite thing about our school of music?
I love that as a pianist I have had an opportunity to perform and work with a range of music ensembles such as our choirs, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, community orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo vocalists, and solo instrumentalists. It has been a great experience to work with so many different students, conductors, and professors. I also love our music building, espeically the practice rooms, because the pianos are great, the rooms have soundboards, and some rooms even have windows, which is not the case at other universities. When I first auditioned at CMU I remember thinking I had never heard a piano sound so beautiful.

What are things you've learned about yourself because of you time at CMU?
I have grown to be the artist, musician, and person I am today because of the support and guidance of the school of music faculty. My studies at CMU have exposed me to a whole different world, and I feel inspired and ready to now go out and share music with others.

What would you like to do after you graduate?
I intend to pursue a masters degree in community music at the University of York in the United Kingdom, specializing in intergenerational music.
Carlos Clark

Carlos Clark

Belleville, MI
Bassoon Performance

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Carlos Clark is a senior at CMU studying Bassoon Performance. The recipient of a Full Athletic Scholarship and a Music Performance Scholarship, Carlos is principal bassoon with both the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and performs with the AACES Reed Quintet.

What are life lessons that you've learned through music at CMU?
The most important thing I've learned from my time here at CMU is that you should always chase what you want. There is no point in doing something because it's what you think you should do. Chances are the thing you want to do is what you were meant to do.

What would you like to do after you graduate?
After I graduate, I'd like to earn my Master's in performance as well. The ultimate goal is to find a place in an orchestra. I want to share my music with the rest of the world.
Kaylee Bernard

Kaylee Bernard

Hale, MI
Music Education & Creative Writing Certificate

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Kaylee Bernard is a Senior at CMU studying Music Education and Creative Writing. She is involved with the award-winning Kairos Saxophone Quartet and the CMU Saxophone Ensemble. Kaylee is a Centralis Gold Scholar, a Presser Scholar, and has earned the Sigma Alpha Iota Sword of Honor.

What is your favorite thing about our school of music?
It's hard to find words to describe what our School of Music means to me. Every day, I am blown away by the passion our professors have for their subject material and for teaching. Not only are they experts in their field and phenomenal pedagogues, but they have immense compassion for their students. I feel very fortunate to study with professors that invest so much time and energy into helping their students. In addition to having incredible professors, I am surrounded by peers that are driven, intelligent, and excited to create music with others. It has been an amazing experience to be immersed in such a supportive, energetic, and thriving culture. I could not imagine a better place to pursue an education as a young musician.

What are life lessons that you've learned through music at CMU?
We all have something to offer. There’s always enough time in the day to give some to others. Pursuing your passion takes grit, but it’s worth it. Striving to be the best can lead to discouragement - striving to be your best leads to improvement.
Jaynie Sorensen

Jaynie Sorensen

Jackson, MI
Music Education

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Jaynie plays in SWE, horn choir, horn quartet, Eccentrico brass quintet, and Concert Choir. Additionally she was the Asst. Principal Horn alongside Bruce Bonnell at the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra!

What is your favorite thing about our school of music?
My favorite thing about the School of Music is that there are endless opportunities for anyone who is willing to reach out and grab them. Students get to step up and lead organizations, play in student-lead ensembles, compete for scholarships, and can network to get professional experiences

What is a life lesson that you've learned through music at CMU?
My time at CMU has taught me how important it is to take hold of every experience that is presented to you. I've never looked back and thought, "Remember that night I got enough sleep?" But I have several memories of watch amazing guest artists in concert, having break-throughs in the practice room, and learning from some of the best professors in the field. Even if the benefits are not apparent right now, doing everything you can do better yourself during your time at CMU is so worth it in the end.
Ryan Egeler

Ryan Egeler

Dorr, MI
Trumpet Performance

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What is your favorite thing about our school of music?
The CMU School of Music is unique in its relatively small size, but the quality therein is always of the utmost. The faculty we have the opportunity to work with is of world-class caliber. In fact, being a small school acts as a significant benefit to the students who attend, because of the unhindered access they will have to their applied professors. In some larger schools, many classes may be taught by graduate assistants, and the sheer size and number of each studio can become a challenge. The teacher-student ratio is excellent in the CMU School of Music.

What is your favorite opportunity that you’ve had as a musician at CMU?
I have been fortunate to work with many musicians throughout the school of music and in the community. All of these experiences have been enriching and valuable in my life.
However, I would say that I appreciate the opportunities I've had to participate in student led ensembles, including the Jazz Combo and brass quintet would be the most fulfilling. With both of these ensembles, I've played at High schools around the state, businesses in our Mt. Pleasant community, and at various University engagements such as luncheons or other receptions.

What are life lessons that you’ve learned through music at CMU/Things you've learned about yourself?
One of the most important lesson's I've learned about myself as a musician during my time at CMU is not to let my own self worth be affected by how well I play.
As student musicians, we are always pushing ourselves to perform better. As a result, we often set herculean goals for ourselves. When we don't live up to our own expectations, it can be easy to fall into a very negative place. Add on to this the external pressure to perform from your peers and your professors, and you can see how the University environment necessitates resiliency.
**I recommend Kenny Werner's Effortless Mastery and W. Timothy Gallwey's The Inner Game of Tennis.

What would you like to do after you graduate?
After I graduate from CMU, I plan to work towards a Masters degree in either Jazz Studies or Trumpet Performance. Ultimately, my goal is to continue to perform in a variety of styles (Hopefully, I can make some money doing it), and possibly teach music at a college or university.
Jaynie Sorensen

Darian Bird

Detroit, MI
Political Science & Vocal Music

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What is your favorite thing about our School of Music?
There is definitely a sense of family around the building, and that even extends to the faculty in the building!

What is your favorite opportunity that you’ve had as a musician at CMU? Perhaps my favorite opportunity and most cherished moment as a musician at CMU had to be being given the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the 125th anniversary of CMU being a university. Being the recipient of the Ross Scholarship, I was able to sit and eat with former President Ross, First Lady Ross, and John Kulhavi, among other distinguished guests.

What are life lessons that you’ve learned through music at CMU?
Being in a program of such fine singers and performers, there is a need to practice and to push yourself more than what you’d think to do. This is just kind of preparing you for the “real world” out there where you’ve got singers who are grinding and putting in that work. So it’s a learning experience to push yourself more. Sure you’re a good singer, but there are lots of good singers, you have to push yourself to be the best.

What are things you’ve learned about yourself because of your time at CMU?
I’ve learned that I’ve got a lot of growing up to do, not only as a performer but with myself. Since being at CMU, Dr. Tucker has been my mentor from day 1 and he’s never hesitated to put me in check when I’m not doing something right. I moved away from home and thought I was an adult and ready for the real world, but he’s taught me a lot and has been a real father figure to me.

What would you like to do after you graduate?
After graduation, I’d love to take my chance at performing for 10-15 years or so on the big stage! Although performing and doing musicals can be stressful in those moments, really becoming my character and making music and relationships…those are the moments that take away all other stress that life kicks your way. After doing that, I plan to work my way into the political field, getting into the national government. Ultimately, my #1 goal is to become President of the United States, that’s been my dream since the second grade.