Brenda Miller, Piano

Name: Brenda Miller '15
Hometown: Kent, WA
Instrument: Piano, some bassoon
Majors: Music and Biology
Residence: Off-campus house
Musical Involvements: Sigma Alpha Iota recording secretary, Chamber ensemble pianist, Concert Band (bassoon), Winner of 2012-13 Concerto/Aria Competition, Olympia Symphony Orchestra (featured soloist on Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto in April 2014)
Involvements Outside Music: Asian Pacific American Student Union (Vice President)

On why I chose Puget Sound: My parents wanted me to stay in the state, so it was a decision between Puget Sound and other schools in the area. Ultimately, Puget Sound was more generous in giving financial aid, and it's also much smaller and offers closer relationships between students and professors. The School of Music is much more flexible and willing to work with what you want to pursue.

Favorite thing about Puget Sound and the School of Music: How flexible the School of Music is. Being a double-major with music normally means you don't get to spend as much time on music or get as many opportunities as performance majors, but here I am able to be just as involved in music as a more focused performance major.

Favorite Classes:

  • "Music Criticism" (MUS 123) with Gwynne Brown. Though technically for a writing requirement, the class focused on analyzing music and artists' interpretations. I got to critique the soundtrack for Sherlock Holmes - it was a lot of fun!
  • "Diversity of Life" (BIOL 112) with Betsy Kirkpatrick. This was a biology class that focused on large organisms, evolution, life cycles, etc. We went to Point Defiance Park to look at organisms in their natural habitats, which was really fun and awesome to watch!

Favorite Musical Memory at Puget Sound (so far): Definitely being selected as one of the winners for the 2012-2013 Concerto/Aria Competition as a sophomore and performing part of Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra. It was a unique and amazing experience that I can't put into words. I won't be forgetting it anytime soon!

Favorite Place on Campus: The Music Lounge, because I've made a lot of friends in the School of Music and it's a lot of fun interacting with them between classes!

Right now: I feel very blessed and fortunate to be a part of the awesome school and to be a double major but still be as involved as I am. The School of Music community is definitely like one big crazy family, and it's wonderful to be a part of!


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