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UMKC Conservatory Student Testimonial

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Nina Cherry UMKC Conservatory

Nina Cherry UMKC Conservatory

Nina Cherry, Sophomore

University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music

Major: BM Music Theory

I discovered my passion for music very early in life. As the daughter of a drummer, I grew up falling asleep on my dad’s lap while he played drum set. I then started taking piano lessons and then cycled through several other instruments. Finally, I realized my underlying love for percussion and decided that I wanted to pursue it seriously. Upon starting college, I realized that, very specifically, the vibraphone was my passion.

Performing and creating is liberating for me. While this may sound cliché, performing (as well as composing) helps me express myself in a way that words cannot. Music is truly the best way I can communicate and share my experiences.

The hardest part of being a performer is finding balance in my life. I struggle with balancing working hard and taking time to relax; there is definitely a gray area. As a performer I must work hard, but it is just as an important to relax, reflect, and enjoy the human experience. Without experience, what is my art?

Right off the bat, the UMKC Conservatory felt like right fit for me. Here at the Conservatory, my education is personalized. I can honestly say that I have a personal connection with each and every one of my professors here. They encourage and inspire me. Larger conservatories and music schools do not often allow for this type of personal connection and specialization, especially as an undergraduate.

My favorite part of this institution is the strong sense of community. Not only do my professors inspire me, but my classmates and colleagues do as well. The students here are striving to better themselves every day and achieve excellence, all while being very supportive and uplifting to one another.

I am growing as an artist right now, focusing on honing my craft, and am learning so much about the field and all the different career opportunities. That said, the next step in my life will be grad school. I want to get my Master of Music in Jazz Studies, while teaching private lessons and freelancing. The education I am receiving right now will help me get into another good program, hopefully on a fellowship.

In 10 years, I image myself teaching jazz theory and/or history at a collegiate level. I also want to maintain a successful performing career as a vibraphonist in both solo and ensemble settings, as well as teach private lessons. Most of all, I want to inspire others through my music.