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A Good Reputation

"The reputation of Western's School of Music alone was enough to make me audition. Once I had auditioned at Western and some of the other Illinois public universities, I quickly realized that Western had the perfect balance of creating a music teacher who is also a great performer.

"I've always loved music. I've always loved teaching. So, when it came time to decide on a career, I just stuck the two together. When trying to find a place to study music education, no place stood out like Western's School of Music. The professors are there simply because they love to teach and have the strongest commitment to education possible. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to learn from the type of people who have dedicated their lives to music and to education."

Some of My Favorite Things

Nick said the size of Western's Macomb campus is a big plus. While the University is large enough to offer numerous opportunities, it's small enough to allow students access to nearly everything provided.

"Western's commitment to offering an unparalleled undergraduate experience is easily met. The ease with which one can get involved in multiple activities on campus is an opportunity that is quite unique among universities the size of Western."

In addition to his rigorous musical education schedule, Nick is the president of Unity, Western's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and allies (LGBTA) organization. He decided to join the organization when he was a freshman to get more involved in LGBTA issues.

"After getting involved with Unity, I couldn't leave. We work to create an environment in which students feel comfortable to seek support and advocacy, to discuss LGBTA concerns and to meet others."

Nicholas making notes on sheet music

And if classroom and Unity involvement isn't enough, Nick still finds the time to be the saxophone section leader in the Marching Leathernecks, which means playing at all home games, select away games and in area parades – not to mention lots of practice time! Nick is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, a social men's music fraternity on campus.

Because of Nick's commitment, he receives a talent grant for being the president of a student organization, and received the Martin DuPuis Mukti Fund Leadership Award for being a returning senior who has shown leadership in the LGBT community.

"Extracurricular involvement is important, because this is YOUR University. Involvement is a way of saying you care about something and you feel it's important enough to keep it alive or move it forward. Also, involvement is an amazing way to meet people who are interested in some of the same things as you."

Summing It Up

"Western is truly a unique experience. You have every opportunity to accomplish personal and professional goals at this amazing University."

Nicholas Howard, Senior