Frances Welsh, Harp

Name: Frances Welsh '17
Hometown: San Carlos, CA
Instrument: Harp
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Minors: Music, math
Residence: Gamma Phi Beta sorority house
Musical Involvements: Symphony Orchestra, Concerto/Aria Competition Winner 2013-2014, chamber music, Wind Ensemble (WMEA Yakima, 2014)
Involvements Outside Music: Slater Museum of Natural History (docent), ETC Tutoring, Gamma Phi Beta, Oracle Production Department intern (Summer 2014)

On why I chose Puget Sound: I’ve always been split between science and music, and one of the main things that drew me to this campus was that I wouldn’t have to choose between the two. It’s one of the few schools I found that had a highly recognized school of music along with great academic programs, and being involved with both music and biology was very easy for me to do.

Favorite thing about Puget Sound and the School of Music:  The environment of Puget Sound is definitely more collaborative as opposed to competitive, and everyone on campus is generally just very friendly. Within the School of Music, I really appreciate the wide range of opportunities. Whether you’re a music major, minor, or even someone who’s just interested in music, there’s so many ensembles and classes available, and I’ve never felt that my options were limited even though Puget Sound is a relatively small school. Being at a smaller school also means that, especially within the music department, there’s a very close-knit and supportive community.

Favorite classes:

  • “New World Rhetoric” (Honors 101) with Denise Despres. We had a class of 8 people, and each class mainly involved very open discussions about whatever book had been assigned at that time. This was my first experience with a small college seminar and I loved hearing everyone’s varying opinions and interpretations.

Favorite musical memory at Puget Sound (so far):  My favorite memory was having the opportunity to perform a harp concerto, Danses Sacree et Profane by Debussy, with the Symphony Orchestra. I was definitely nervous, as I had never played a concerto before, but it was a very rewarding experience.

I'm looking forward to: I’m excited to become more involved in the music program at Puget Sound by joining some chamber music groups, especially because I’ve never had the opportunity to play chamber music before. I’m also hoping to play with some new ensembles when I go home over the summer and to work more as a freelance harpist.

Favorite place on campus: Oppenheimer Café, whether I’m there to study, hang out with friends, or just stopping by to get a drink! I also enjoy walking past the music building and hearing everyone practicing - you’ll hear anything from jazz saxophone to classical violin, and I think this variety is really great.


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