Grace VanAlst ’21, Staples, Minn.
Major: Music Education

Please tell us about yourself.

My hometown is Staples, Minn., and I am a music education major. Some things that I enjoy doing outside of my major include traveling, spending time with family and friends, and painting. Some of my favorite past experiences include traveling to Costa Rica, Washington, D.C., other places in the United States, and teaching music for a month in Haiti.

What made you choose Concordia?

There were a few things that made me choose Concordia. The great employment rate for Cobbers after graduation and the welcoming community of students and faculty were the main reasons. As a music education major, Concordia’s reputation for musical excellence was a critical motivator to apply to Concordia. Also, many teachers in my hometown graduated from Concordia.

When did your passion for music begin?

I have always had a passion for music. I grew up listening to music of the decades and jazz and can remember listening to music of every genre with my family at a very young age. My family has always encouraged me to pursue music throughout my life and were the ones who rallied me to pursue a career in music education.

What is your favorite part of being a member of the Jazz Band and Saxophone Quartet?

My favorite aspect of being a member of ensembles here is the community. We are encouraged to have ensemble bonding time and the people are absolutely amazing. Because we are so close, we are able to enjoy the music more, make more meaningful music, and have effective communication throughout that makes the environment inviting and enjoyable.

Tell us about your involvement with the National Society for Leadership and Success.

In the National Society for Leadership and Success, I am given resources to apply for scholarships and learn how to become a more effective leader. Given that I am pursuing a degree in music education, having these resources will greatly benefit my future endeavors.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My time at Concordia has been one of the best times of my life. Like most students, I go through stress and struggles every semester, but it is the support of my peers and the faculty here that has made my experience better. I could not have asked for a more caring environment for me to spend these four years. I have grown so much as a human already and look forward to seeing what this last year has to offer.

Published September 2020