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Life begins to unfold for Music Performance student, Molly Stevens

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The  MNPS Senior Capstone Project is a multifaceted project based learning project that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students at the end of their academic pathway experience. While similar in some ways to a college thesis, our capstone projects at Overton may have taken on a wide variety of forms from investigative projects to senior performances.

Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as public performance skills, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting.

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Molly Stevens recently performed her Capstone project at the Music Performance Academy Senior Recital displaying musical skills that earned her scholarships offers to more than one middle TN school in Music Performance. Molly recently participated in a one on one interview to discuss her goals, accomplishments regarding the Capstone Project and recent acceptance into the music conservatory, The Blair School of Music

The Senior Capstone Project is the opportunity for you to bring four years of coursework and academic and personal experiences together by engaging in an extended project in your major.”

— MNPS Capstone Manual

BobcatBeat.net: You’ve had many offers for scholarships, have you decided where you are going to go in the fall?

Molly: Vanderbilt University. I plan to major in Music Performance. My instrument is the oboe.

BobcatBeat.net: What made you choose Blair school of Music over Belmont and Tennessee Tech?

Molly: Going to school at Vanderbilt combines the quality training of a small music conservatory while still allowing me to experience the environment of a large school. After visiting the campus, I fell in love with the atmosphere of the school, and I knew that it was where I was supposed to be.

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BobcatBeat.net: Many of the Music Performance Academy students are being awarded scholarships in music. Have you been able to use your music training to help pay for your college expenses?

Molly:Because of the combination of Vanderbilt’s amazing financial aid package and a music scholarship from  school, I will be attending Vanderbilt at no cost. It only covers this year, but the packages are typically similar every year.

BobcatBeat.net: Can you describe the audition process you had to go through to be accepted into Blair ?

Molly: I went to a few college auditions, and my experience at Vanderbilt was my favorite. The evening before, there was a dinner where we got to meet other potential students and some of the faculty. The morning of my audition, I was escorted to a practice room where I warmed up for about 20 minutes, and then they took me to the recital hall. I had the stage to myself and I played through three pieces. Although other schools requested scales and sight-reading, the judges for my Vanderbilt audition seemed to be satisfied with my performance. They thanked me and then it was over.

BobcatBeat.net: What emotions ran through you before, during, and after the audition?

Molly: Before the audition, I sat in the practice room for a minute and gathered my thoughts. I was filled with peace because I knew that whatever was meant to happen would happen. I felt very confident and prepared for my performance; I didn’t let myself think about how much was riding on this audition.

Overall, there was a sense of calmness as I walked into the recital hall. As I performed, I enjoyed every second. I don’t get to play in nice venues like that very often! By the end of my last piece, I felt very tired, but also encouraged. Although my audition wasn’t flawless, it went as well as I had hoped it would. I was so excited to let my mom, who was waiting outside the door, know how I had done. As I left, the oboe professor had some very kind and encouraging things to say. I was so excited! Even though I still had no idea if I had actually made it in, I felt that I had done the best I could, and I was happy enough with that.

Music Performance Academy Senior Showcase029001seqn}BobcatBeat.net: What was the competition like in terms of the number of people you were up against, their skill level, etc?

Molly: I never found out how many other oboists I was competing against, or how many others also made it in.

BobcatBeat.net: Do you have any tips for underclassman who are look at scholarships like these?

Molly:Practice!! There is nothing better than walking into an audition feeling prepared. And there is nothing worse than going in knowing that you could do better, wishing you had done more. Also, don’t be nervous! I know it’s easier said than done, but really just enjoy the chance to perform for a new audience. The more prepared you are, the less worried about mistakes you’ll be, and that makes performing so much more fun.

I just hope that I can perform; it’s what I love to do most. I also can’t wait to see my life unfold. ”

— Molly Stevens

BobcatBeat.net: How much time did you put into preparing for the audition?

Molly: A lot! I have no idea how many hours I spent practicing the music. Honestly, it was never a chore because the audition was never the end goal for me with this music. I fell in love with my music and considered it a privilege to be able to play Mozart in my room for hours.

BobcatBeat.net: What are your long term plans?

Molly: I don’t have the answer, and I find that very exciting. I know that my time at Vanderbilt is going to completely change my life, and I can’t predict what’s going to happen. I just place my trust in God, because I know that the life He has envisioned for me is greater than anything I could imagine. He’s already proven that many times.

treble birdy

I’m going to play oboe for as long as possible. There’s no question about that. But I have no idea where life will take me after college. I may go on to get my Master’s Degree. I just hope that I can perform; it’s what I love to do most. I also can’t wait to see my life unfold. In college I’m going to make lifelong friends and possibly find my husband- what could be more exciting than that!?

BobcatBeat.net: So, if you had a degree you wanted to pursue today?

Molly: I’m going to be a professional musician. My dream would be to be principal oboist of the Nashville Symphony, but I would also love to do operas, ballets, and chamber ensembles.

BobcatBeat.net: Are there any people who you have inspired? Who are the people who inspired and motivated you to pursue music?

When my middle school band directors, Mrs. Waters and Ms. Harrah, introduced me to the oboe, I had no idea that it would become so important and life changing. My band directors here at Overton- Ms. Burton, Ms. Boucher, and Mr. Easley- have been instrumental (pun intended) in so many ways. They’ve influenced not only my musical journey, but also my life as a student and a person. My oboe teacher, Nakayah Box, taught me so much and helped me become the oboist I am today. My parents have always been very encouraging, but also realistic, and I appreciate that. With their guidance, I’ve been able to recognize that the music business is a tough world, and it won’t be easy. However, I wouldn’t pursue this career if I didn’t think that I had what it takes to be a successful musician.

 

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Life begins to unfold for Music Performance student, Molly Stevens