When people find out that I go to Juilliard, they tend to ask about my story.
How’d you end up there?
What was your life like?
Most often – Why did you choose Juilliard?
Here’s the deal:
I only applied to two colleges – Berklee College of Music in Boston and Juilliard. In fact, I was pretty set on going to Berklee for a few reasons.
I had a lot of friends and musicians that I looked up to who either graduated from Berklee or were enrolled there at the time. I already got a full scholarship the year before. And it just seemed like the more comfortable choice for me.
Admittedly, I applied to Juilliard pretty last minute. I wasn’t sure I had enough courage to actually apply. I wasn’t the best at handling rejection. But someone I really looked up to told me to apply.
Also, while I was in NYC in early December of 2013 to receive an ASCAP award, Juilliard Jazz invited me to take a tour of the school. It was in that moment that I fell in love. I could see myself going to school there. So when I got back to New Orleans, I scrambled to put together my prescreening recordings.
I kid you not…the prescreening tunes I selected were based on which Aebersold CDs I could find. I didn’t have time to get a band together and play. I was literally in my room with my radio playing the Aebersold backing tracks and my iPhone 5c recording voice memos.
But I guess it didn’t turn out too terrible, because I was invited up for a live audition and ended up getting accepted! My, how life has changed!