Student Story: Eric Johnson, Class of 2014
Music is important in my family. It was always playing in my house and it was always available. Growing up in this environment created in me a love and appreciation for music. When it was clear to my parents that I wanted to pursue music, they supported me 100 percent. Money was tight, but my parents would save up so I could have an instrument and travel with my high school band.
My junior high band director, Debbie Montague, was influential in my musical growth. Like many junior high kids, I was unmotivated and apathetic about school. I still loved music, but I was all about playing my guitar and not my horn. Mrs. Montague didn't let me stay like this. She made me practice and participate. I hated it at the time, and she knew I hated it. But we eventually traveled to Boston to compete in a national high school music contest as a junior high band, and got second place. That lit a passion in me for orchestral playing that has still not gone out.
The biggest reason I came to SPU was that it was the cheapest option of the ones I was considering. However, during my time at SPU, faith has become a huge aspect in my life and in my music. My faith has given music more purpose. Before I came to SPU I wanted to be in music because it was the only thing I could actually focus on. Now, because of my faith, music has become more universal in my life. Music can be used anywhere because music is something everyone has a connection with. This is important because I believe God calls us to love everyone. Music is a universal tool by which we can love and speak to each other.
The best part of SPU's Music Department is the professors. You actually get to know your professors, and this is great because the music professors at SPU are extremely intelligent, passionate, and caring musicians. One of my highlights was listening to Dr. Hanson talk about Beethoven's 9th symphony. His knowledge of the piece was so profound. Dr. Chin is an amazing professor to learn from. He knows how to survive as a musician in today's society. He has a pure connection with music that's evident to students. He has always been willing to help me and give me advice.
Music is how God most effectively speaks to me. I want to do whatever I can with music. My dream is to be hired by a professional orchestra as a principal horn player. My short-term goals are to get my music education degree and teach music. I also want to study ethnomusicology in graduate school.
Meet the members of the Sprezzatura Trio, a music ensemble comprising three SPU alumnae.
SPU’s Music faculty share their stories.