Hunt reflects on musical experiences

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By Kayla Hunt
Special to The PREVIEW

Kayla Hunt
Kayla Hunt

My name is Kayla Hunt and I am a December 2013 graduate of Adams State University. I finished my degree this past fall in music education and saxophone performance. Many things have occurred since the last time I had the honor of writing about my experience as a college student and a Curtains Up Pagosa scholarship recipient. Life is full of adventure and I am as ready as I can be for the next chapter of my life.

Looking back, I loved every minute of my time at Adams State. I remember walking into the band room at the beginning of my freshman year, getting ready for my first marching band experience, all six of my juries in front of three professors whom I valued the opinions of, the nervousness of two recitals, to cramming for exams with classmates right before having to walk in and take it. I remember walking at graduation and receiving my degree in front of my closest friends and family. I remember it all and I would not trade it for a thing.

I completed my saxophone performance degree last spring with a solo senior recital. I spent my senior year working on 45 to 60 minutes’ worth of music. It was a blast working on music from Hindemith, Milhaud and Electronic. My favorite piece on that recital was for alto saxophone with a wind quintet. In that performance, I not only had the pleasure of performing with a faculty member, but with four close friends whom I had spent my college career performing with.

I moved to Colorado Springs last July to finish my music education degree. As a future K-12 educator, I had the experience of working in two separate schools during my student teaching semester. I spent eight weeks at Air Academy High School and eight weeks at Sabin Middle School. I had the privilege of working under two exceptional directors for those 16 weeks. I learned a lot about not only the profession that I am so eager to participate in, but a lot about myself as not only an individual, but as a teacher. Even on the most frustrating days, I was eager to return to the classroom. On top of everything, it was a different experience getting used to being addressed by my last name. After graduation, I returned to Colorado Springs to experience my first concert from a conductor’s point of view instead of the performers’. It was an amazing experience conducting four different pieces for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade groups.

In June, I was hired as a middle school band director at Heaton Middle School in Pueblo. I am extremely excited for this next chapter of my life to start.

Curtains Up has always been a home for me. I remember going to work and then pulling six-plus hours at the high school, making sure that all the equipment was working for the next rehearsal. As exhausted as I was at the end of the show, it was always great. Not only did the technology aspect help me in college — I was an audio/visual tech for three years with the responsibility of recording and producing professional sounding performances — it was the teaching aspect of it that I cherished. As I got older, the sound crew that showed up every summer got younger. I really felt old when some names I would talk about the kids were not familiar with.

The closer I came to finishing my degrees, the more hands off I became. I spent my time training the crew and then I observed, jumping in only when necessary. I worked with numerous different personalities and had to figure out how to explain concepts 10,000 different ways. I had to explain reasoning and be precise about it, when no one questioned it before.

From high school through my college career, I was always good at training a crew. Even when I look back at all the different crews I trained, there is not one crew that was bad or disappointing in any way. They all were unique with their own set of challenges and I believe that many teachers see that in their classes. Each class is unique, with its bad and good.

It is exciting to think that this upcoming school year I will be the teacher with a classroom full of students. A part of me will always be a student, that kid teaching the next generation on the sideline, but for once, it will be different. It will be a world full of surprises, new stress and a world full of adventure. I loved my time with Curtains Up and all of countless shows I participated in and I am looking forward to the future.