SIUE provided a huge boost to my career as a composer, conductor, and singer. The faculty invested in me on a personal level and gave me more opportunities than I could have imagined. Most valuable of all, I was given the freedom and encouragement to develop my own creative voice as well as the confidence to share that voice with others. The nurturing of my artistic identity has led directly to the success I am enjoying today. Currently, I am composing choral works that will be premiered at upcoming All-State and ACDA conferences, I am in demand as a regional and all-state conductor, and I have an active professional singing schedule, occasionally singing background vocals for pop artist Ben Folds. I owe big thanks to the great faculty at SIUE for their instruction, mentoring, and continuous support!