Alumni Quotes

I was blown away by the sheer talent around me and, in some ways, daunted by it. It was a motivator as well. I believe that the rigor of training at Jacobs enables a person to be great in this world.

Kenny Aronoff, world-renowned drummer, Jacobs alumnus

I was very happy that I went to a school like IU, where I could take many courses outside of the music school. Courses in history, mathematics, fine arts, and language were wonderful supplements to my musical education.

Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, Jacobs alumnus

Jacobs is on a college campus in a beautiful town. My years in Bloomington enabled me to immerse myself in my studies without the distractions and daily grind of living in a major city. I was among amazing student musicians. Their drive and commitment were an inspiration to me.

Chris Botti, Grammy Award-winning trumpet soloist, Jacobs alumnus

The Jacobs School of Music is a wonderful cocoon and a wonderful place to try different things.

Angela Brown, internationally renowned soprano, Jacobs alumna

Go to every performance you can, and just take it all in. Let the music seep into your bones and your being, and you will feel so much more enhanced. Jacobs offers tremendous opportunities for you to absorb so much music, so take advantage of it.

Lawrence Brownlee, world-renowned tenor, artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia, Jacobs alumnus

The buzzword in a lot of startups right now is “grit.” I’m not sure where else I would have developed my own sense of grit had I not gone to Jacobs, so for that, I am really grateful.

Mike Epstein, president of Epstein and Company, Jacobs alumnus

In addition to my “classical” studies, I took David Baker’s improvisation course, sang in the International Vocal Ensemble, and danced in the African American Dance Company. All of these experiences changed the way I functioned as a musician and influenced how I thought about the music itself.

Hilary Glen, assistant principal cello of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and principal cello of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Jacobs alumna

My career would have taken a vastly different direction without my study at Jacobs. My teacher has remained one of my strongest supporters, and I still go to her for advice on everything.

William Harvey, founder of Cultures in Harmony, Jacobs alumnus

Jacobs gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything, which is the most useful thing I could have ever done. Going to innumerable concerts and master classes afforded me a wealth of knowledge that I still draw upon.

Nick Hersh, assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jacobs alumnus

I’ve gained music companions I know will be there for me for the rest of my life. If I could relive my Jacobs experience, I would in a heartbeat.

Durand Jones, lead vocalist for Durand Jones & The Indications, Jacobs alumnus

I was fortunate to have had many wonderful teachers throughout my time at Jacobs who continue to support me to this day.

Ching-Yi Lin, founder of Western Kentucky University Pre-College Strings Program, Jacobs alumna

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