Colleen MacDonald '20

Music Education Major

Why did you choose UNH?

I chose UNH because of the people. The music department faculty at UNH has helped me grow immensely as a musician, teacher and a person. They truly care about their students and are devoted to providing educational experiences of the highest quality. The students at UNH are also some of the kindest people I've met in my life. As a visiting high school senior, I was welcomed in the music department for a shadow day and had the opportunity to meet some of the upperclassmen students I would potentially be joining if I chose to attend UNH. All these students were extremely welcoming and eager to include me in their days, I even met an upperclassman on that day who would end up becoming one of my best friends from college. UNH has an incredible academic program and the people I met while visiting UNH made the campus feel like home, making it easy to choose to attend UNH.

How did you choose your major and why?

Majoring in Music Education didn't feel like a "choice" to me, it felt like the next step in my life. Growing up, I was told I was singing as soon as I started talking. My involvement with music has made me the person I am today and I can't imagine having chosen anything else to study in college. I also love working with children so music education felt like the perfect path.

Describe any experiential learning you've undertaken (internships, study abroad, research, etc.).

While at UNH I've enrolled in two independent studies. For fall semester of my Junior Year I studied Vocal Jazz and Improvisation with Professor Mike Annicchiarico. I've always loved jazz but UNH unfortunately doesn't have a Vocal Jazz Program. Studying privately with Mike gave me the opportunity to explore this passion! During the spring semester of my Junior Year and fall semester of my Senior Year I then studied Advanced Choral Conducting with Dr. Alex Favazza Jr. Through this experience, I was given the opportunity to teach and conduct both the University Chamber Singers and Concert Choir ensembles. Additionally, Dr. Favazza offered me an internship as the Assistant Conductor for the community choir he directs, the Rockingham Choral Society. Studying with Dr. Favazza deepened my passion for conducting and teaching, and I am extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunities I've been given as an undergraduate music student.

Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?

Within the UNH Department of Music, I have been a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) since I began at school as a First Year. I served as the Chapter Treasurer for the 2017 calendar year and as the Chapter Vice President for the 2018 calendar year. I am also a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Outside of music, I attended the UNH Leadership Camp during winter break of 2018. Additionally, I worked as a Resident Assistant (RA) for two years in Mills Hall. Through this job, I gained valuable leadership skills, learned about myself and peers in a unique way, and meet many incredible people I would have otherwise never crossed paths with. My  former residents are truly some of my best friends from UNH and I'll always remember my time as an RA as a highlight of my experience at UNH.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point?

As a UNH Graduate, I hope to pursue a career of teaching music in a classroom setting or through private lessons. My long-term goal is to create  a Children's Community Music Program that will provide children the opportunity to perform and learn about advanced music outside of the traditional school day, with peers from the surrounding area.