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Hitting the Right Notes

Emma Cathy Smith '20
Emma Cathy Smith

“Music is a major part of my life, and I’m thankful that Stevenson has given me the opportunity to stay involved through college.”

Junior Business Communication major/Music minor Emma Cathy Smith is involved in almost every performing ensemble at Stevenson University.

This was not a surprise to those who knew her pre-SU; she was just as involved during high school, having been a part of the leadership team of her high school’s concert band, string orchestra, and choirs for all four years.

Emma Cathy (‘EmC’) decided to take her Stevenson experience a step further by trying something new. She met with the director of music, Mark Lortz, and decided to learn a brand new instrument--baritone--despite never playing a brass instrument otherwise.

“There aren’t many college-level music departments that allow you to come in and work your way up, but Stevenson has encouraged me to grow throughout my entire experience,” she explained. Through personalized lessons, enjoyable but structured rehearsals, and the ability to grow with such a diverse group of people, she was able to quickly learn the instrument and fully participate in the ensemble.

Over time, other ensembles were added to her schedule. She currently plays euphonium/baritone for the Stevenson University Marching, Pep, and Concert Bands, viola for the Greenspring Valley Orchestra, sings tenor for the University Singers, and also sings tenor in All Natural, Stevenson’s A Cappella Group.

For her senior year, EmC has been promoted to the position of drum major in the marching band, filling an essential role in the student leadership team. In this role, she will serve as the band’s primary conductor, while also directing and encouraging the ensemble members to succeed. Throughout her time here, she has been gradually promoted within the leadership team, serving as the low brass section leader during her sophomore year, and field commander during her third season.

“It’s fascinating to think that, at the start of my freshman year, I came in to this program with no marching or brass experience,” she says. “I wouldn’t have made it this far, though, without the support and encouragement of every person in the program, and within the larger Stevenson community.”

As she begins to think about life after graduation, she is certain that she can take the skills from both of these programs and combine them into one potential career path. “I’ve discovered that, alongside my passion for music, I have an interest in social media promotion and public relations. It’d be an absolute dream to combine those passions and become a social media coordinator for a musician or a talent agency.”

“Stevenson has helped me realize that it’s totally possible for me to combine my passion for music with my future career. I have been empowered, now more than ever, to make it happen, and I am excited to see where it takes me.”
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