1. Why and how did you become involved with Boston Arts Academy?
"My older sister attended BAA, and I remember what song she played to audition. I heard her practice so hard for it. I loved seeing her so passionate about her art while attending school. I took music classes at Berklee prep, housed at the “OG” BAA. I was exposed to the BAA environment and even saw some of the schoolwork and music sheets my sister would work on at home. I saw her world, and I wanted to be in it as well. Three years later, I auditioned; at that point, I had been playing saxophone and became passionate about it at BAA. I loved music but didn't take it seriously until BAA. "
2. What poignant or prominent memory do you have of Boston Arts Academy?
"For me- it’s a collection of moments, the school's big band. Mr. Clauhs was a former teacher of mine, and I was profoundly impacted. He had this knack for picking music to teach. Something about how he selected the songs we learned made me understand and feel what it meant to be a musician and how cool and fun it was. Mr. Clauhs set a trajectory for my BAA experience. I got to teach here, and what was so joyful about that was carrying on the excitement of teaching songs I learned to the kids. I also used a similar approach to select songs for the students to play. I watched them have that same learning experience as I did. How I pick music and teach is a part of who Mr. Clauhs was and what he meant."
3. When you think about BAA, what are the three words that most come to mind and why?
Energy, Passion, and Family
Energy: "There's something about the spirit of the school. It's like a magnet; everyone joins in this energy that you can't put into words, and you can only get in this place. Not to say other arts institutions arent good; it’s just different at BAA."
Passion: "Passion for the arts but also for each other who care for each other and sometimes even butt heads -at the end of the day it’s always for something we are passionate about. "
Family: "I have been reflecting much about what BAA means, and I keep returning to the family. Care for each other and be there for each other. Even with people, you don't have a reason to be connected to, you find you still have many memories with them. They were there in these great memories."
4. 25 years later, what about BAA makes you proud?
"What makes me most proud is what is yet to come and the future. It is still new enough to transition into waiting for what it will become, its impact, and where the people will be. Still growing and becoming what it will be, and whatever that will be will be fantastic"
5. What lesson/lessons have BAA taught you as an artist, professional, and citizen?
Being aware and having a sense of purpose behind the art. The school does a good job of making a connection between your art and… Family, social justice, and so on and so on. Not every person will take up that cause with their art, but it exists and gives a sense of weight and purpose to your actions.
A reminder of how important community is, the community you touch with your art, and the community of artists here. I will always hold onto how you grow with and feed each other.