Third year music education and euphonium major
Sam Shea is a junior majoring in music education and performance, specializing in the euphonium, under the tutelage of Professor John Manning.
I’m an Iowa native, so UI was a natural choice for me. I love the atmosphere of a Big Ten school, but at the same time, my studies and instruction have felt so personalized. For me, being able to have weekly one-on-one lessons with my professor as a freshman was so meaningful. Not a lot of universities offer that to incoming freshmen, so it was extremely influential in my decision to choose UI.
What has been your greatest success as of late?
Questions about my greatest success and the group I’m involved in kind of go hand in hand. My greatest success is definitely founding the UI Women’s Brass student organization. We have a healthy number of students participating already, even though our semester looks a bit uncertain. Our goals are to meet monthly (over zoom) to discuss topics surrounding what it means to be a female/trans/non-binary individual in the world of professional brass instrumentalists. Such topics include resume building, networking, articles/resources, attending conferences, and inviting professional artists to speak to us about their own experiences. We’d also love to put together various brass ensembles and look forward to performing with one another once it is safe to do so.
Another goal of ours is to do a large amount of fundraising. These funds will go towards future travel, commissioning pieces for our organization (involving the SoM composition department), inviting guest artists, as well as fundraising for the Iowa City community.
I’m a huge proponent of taking care and doing as much as you can for the community you’re involved in, and through fundraising I’d love to do that, particularly for the Iowa City Domestic Violence Intervention Program!
We also have hopes to attend the International Women’s Brass Conference in the spring of 2021, held at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Describe your favorite experience at Iowa.
My favorite experience at the SoM so far has definitely been my experience performing at the CBDNA conference this past spring at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. The UI Symphony Band performed a concert of about 45 minutes, and it was electric. I loved being able to perform a program that excited the audience as much as it did my colleagues and I. We also had a great amount of free time to explore the Chicago area, which was amazing! It was an experience I’ll never forget.
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
I would tell my freshman self to focus on what you’re passionate about. If you don’t know what that is yet, don’t be afraid. Focus on your strengths and what you LOVE to do. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others, because one of these days you will find that passion, and it’ll drive you more than anything or anyone else. Oh and also, 2020 is a whirlwind. You’ll learn more skills than the past five years combined. Good luck.