By Miriam Trujillo
Theatre Guide awarded Catholic University’s Rome School the “Best College Performing Arts Program.” This award is a reader’s choice award, intending to showcase artistic talent among colleges, young artists, chorus’, actors, dance companies, and theatre companies. To win the Best College Division, Catholic University beat out schools such as Stevenson University and Towson University. In order to find out what makes the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, such a fruitful artistic community The Tower interviewed two music students, sophomores Anselm Black, a cellist and vocalist, and Mary Ryan, a vocal performance major, to get an inside look at the life of an artist.
How Have The Rome School’s Music Classes Strengthened Your Musicianship?
Mary: CUA classes have strengthened my musicianship immensely! I couldn’t even begin to tell you how helpful it has been to strengthen my ear training and sight singing while learning theory to learn more of the technicalities of music. But, to learn the history and how connected to the soul is music has changed my mindset toward music more than words can say. It is a language that I feel I am learning to speak better and better each day. It touches the heart and soul, while challenging the mind.
How Do you Think Being a Student in the Ward School has bettered your chances of getting roles and performing more often?
Anselm: Grunt practicing. At the school you start blending with professionals who come in to play anyway. Gigs are always reaching out to colleges especially CUA’s because of our reliability. Someone always knows someone at the music school.
How are the Rome School’s Faculty?:
Mary: I think the faculty is very intelligent and talented. They each offer something new and unique when learning music.
What do you think is a musician’s greater service to mankind?
Anselm: Beauty. The rest of the world is more successful but we’re the ones who, if necessary, go as far as living under a bridge for our dream. Necessary? Perhaps not, and we certainly can be under appreciated, but the ones who don’t lie to themselves know for the rest of their lives if they could have danced/sung/acted, and God bless the ones that did; the dreamers, especially the unrealistic dreamers. Foolish they are, but if all children become serious and practical it would be a cold world. So we bring beauty and dreams, and for the most part suffer for it.
Mary: The greatest service a musician can give to mankind, by far, is to elevate the soul, mind, an heart to the divine. There is something uniquely spiritual and beautiful about music that just brings people closer to God. Whenever I am singing I pray, “Ok God. I am your instrument. Just play me.” And he does and that is how music speaks. When one listens to a great performer, they hear God speak through a feeble sinner. Music goes beyond oneself and creates something so much greater.