Katie Parcelli, ’18,
Blair School of Music
You may think being a Blair student means you are one of approximately 200 Vanderbilt students who studies music, but it means so much more. It means recognizing every face you see in the hallway. It means you have 30 people in your largest class and as few as 3 people in your smallest. It means taking music history and music theory instead of calculus or chemistry.
During finals week you won’t find us up late cramming in Rand or Central Library, but in Blair practice rooms. During the lunch rush, we probably won’t be in the Randwich line. Instead, we’ll be in the Blair student lounge, also known as the “Blounge” (It is Blair custom to add “Bl-” as a prefix to everything). We eat the same meals every day from Suzie’s Cafe inside Blair and occasionally power nap on one of the lounge’s many couches.
Instead of astrophysicists, our faculty includes professors who have studied at Juilliard, been Grammy-nominated, played in renowned symphonies, and toured with artists like Sheryl Crow. (I still have to try to play it cool when Jeff Coffin, who has won three Grammy’s and played saxophone with the Dave Matthews Band, nonchalantly passes me in the hall.)
Being a Blair student means waking up every day excited to go to class because you get to learn about what you love. Most of all though, being a Blair student means being a part of a community of peers as passionate about making music as you are, a community that feels like home.
Although we spend a lot of time in our brick building on 25th and Children’s Way, we are not isolated. We take non-music classes and pursue second majors. You can find us at Vanderbilt games, or actively involved around campus in clubs, performing arts groups, and Greek life.
Despite our hard work (blood on the strings, sweat from the walk from main campus, and tears from sight-singing in musicianship), our major is often invalidated. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what I plan to do with a music degree, I would probably have more money than I will when I graduate. Engineering, political science, and education majors do not get asked the same tough questions that Blair students do. But a music degree and a music career are just as valid as a career in law. If you want to understand why someone would choose to major in music, ask yourself what you would do without music in your life.
Music is togetherness, inspiration, and solace, and it provides us with an outlet for what we cannot express in any other way. We want to share our music with you. We could not live in a world without music. If you need music as much as we do, then take a walk and join us.