Alexandra “Lexi” Brouillard ’19, Andover, Minn.
Major/Minor: Flute Performance; Women’s and Gender Studies
Why study flute performance at Concordia?
My love of music and performing is something that has built up for quite a while now. I had been debating on what my major would be in college during high school, but nothing seemed to quite fit me how I wanted it to. The “aha!” moment for me came while I sat in the Broadway Theatre in New York City, listening to the overture of “The Phantom of the Opera.” It was the first time I had ever seen or heard a live professional production in my life, and I remember crying as I realized that this was it. This was where my life was going to take me. My inner calling was to perform music professionally. Ever since then, I’ve taken my dream to be a professional musician and started making it a reality. I absolutely love my major, and Concordia has provided such a welcoming environment to help me grow, learn, and live every second of it.
What sets the music department at Concordia apart from the other departments?
The way the faculty treat you is amazing. They treat you as a professional and respect you, your work and what you do. They set you up on a career path in a very professional way.
What is one of the most important things you have learned in your music classes?
There are so many! I think apart from getting basic knowledge of music, the way that Concordia prepares you is very beneficial because it covers all the bases. Since I love history, I have enjoyed all of the history-related classes and that’s helped me as a performance major with how I interpret the music.
Have you had any mentors or special professors in your time here?
My flute professor, Debora Harris, has truly been my rock throughout this entire journey. She’s very understanding and she tailors her teaching style to the individual she’s working with. I’ve gotten to know her more as I’ve grown at Concordia and she’s helped me get out of the classroom with my major. I went to Italy last summer for two weeks with her for a music festival, and then I went to the Minneapolis for the National Flute Convention this summer. She’s presented me with many opportunities like these.
What activities have you been involved with?
I have been a member of The Concordia Band since freshman year, and that offered me the opportunity to study abroad in Spain for summer 2016. I also became the principal flutist in The Concordia Orchestra during my sophomore year and toured Greece with the orchestra for two weeks, which was fabulous.
I’m a member of a couple chamber music groups – a woodwind quintet and a flute, saxophone and piano trio. I also love playing in the pit orchestra here at Concordia.
Last summer, I participated in an international music camp called InterHarmony in Acqui Terme, Italy, where I took several master classes and flute lessons. I had the honor of being the principal flutist in the orchestra and we played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which was so cool. This summer was my second year of camp counseling for Soiva International Music Camp on Concordia’s campus. I was also selected as a convention intern for the annual National Flute Association Convention in Orlando, Fla., in August.
What has been a highlight of your college career?
Overall, Concordia has really helped me find myself. I’ve discovered who I am as an individual, and it gave me freedom to explore areas of myself that I wouldn’t have delved into otherwise. My minor, for example, has been a fundamental aspect for me. I wasn’t expecting to be so passionate about women’s and gender studies until I discovered it through my religion class. Also, traveling gets you out of your comfort zone, your culture, and pushes you to explore more and it changes you for the better.
What advice would you give a prospective student?
Find what you’re passionate about and do your research. Don’t be afraid to visit campus because you will meet amazing people at Concordia. The staff and faculty genuinely care about you and they want to see you succeed. It’s a stimulating and progressive environment because they’re very future-focused and that’s comforting to know that you have such talented faculty and even the peer groups around you share the same passions as you. The outreach is amazing.
What’s the hardest thing about being a music performance major?
It’s intimidating. You will face a lot of self-doubt. Self-confidence is crucial and you have to have faith in yourself and your talent. I’m not just playing for fun. You learn a lot of different pieces at the same time and you’re constantly working. The schedules are never the same. Within the performance industries, some people aren’t as personable as you’d like them to be, so that can be feel cold. It’s going to hurt when you’re in a competition and, after you’ve performed, the judges say, “Next.” In order to really grab their attention, you have to ask yourself, “What is MY interpretation of Mozart’s ‘Concerto in G Major’? How is it different from the hundreds of other flutists who play it?” You have to be meticulous and Type A, but your mentors will support you and you will feel fulfilled. When you accomplish things, you’ll feel amazing.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I hope to attend grad school and get my master’s in music performance. If possible, I’d love to integrate my minor with my music performance too. I want to keep my minor and music history focus close to me because they’re both so important in my life. I love New York, so it’d be incredible to study there. That’s been my dream since high school, before I even knew I wanted to go to Concordia. There are just so many opportunities everywhere. In a perfect world, I’d like to eventually get into a philharmonic orchestra somewhere.
Update: Lexi won the Senior Soloist Competition at Concordia and will be the featured soloist on the 2019 Concordia Band Tour in Canada.