Amanda Roswick '18

Music Education Major | Graduate Student in Jazz Studies

What are you currently doing professionally?

I am about to graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies. I moved to Colorado and started at UNC only 3 months after I graduated from UNH with my Bachelor's. I recently was selected as "DownBeat" magazine's Outstanding Graduate Jazz Vocal Soloist after two years of studying jazz at the graduate level.

How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?

UNH gave me the tools to create a successful career in music. I learned healthy vocal technique and body mapping which allowed me to expand my array of vocal sounds and methods. I also gained valuable teaching experience at UNH that helped me attain a Teaching Assistant position at the university.

What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?

It is too difficult to choose just one person ...  I would say that Dr. William Kempster, Professor David Ripley and Dr. Jenni Cook were the most influential professors in my time at UNH. From Dr. Cook I learned extensive vocal techniques and methods that help me thrive as a solo singer; from Professor Ripley I learned so much about stage presence, lyric interpretation and musicianship; from Dr. Kempster I learned much about directing and performing in high level ensembles, sight reading, ear training, and musical phrasing and interpretation. He was also one of the people who believed in me the most and helped me develop from a shy, reserved woman to someone more confident. He challenged and pushed me to do things I didn't believe I could do. He had a hard shell in the classroom, but he and Professor Ripley were always mentors I felt I could approach about any musical or nonmusical issue.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?

I wish I knew how attainable some common musician goals are,  such as applying for prestigious awards and grants, recording demos and albums,  and making a name for yourself. Those things always seemed out of my reach as an average musician from the small state of New Hampshire. But in 2 short years post-Bachelor's, I applied for and won a prestigious music award, I hope to record an album within the next 5 years, and I feel confident about the name I've made for myself in the jazz community and how I can continue developing my career as a professional musician.

What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

You are never done learning -- music is a lifetime commitment to your own education. Also, don't be afraid to not know something; ask for help from former professors and other musicians -- they are usually more than willing to help you. Lastly, don't sell yourself short. You'd be surprised at what opportunities you can make for yourself, even with limited experience.