Incoming freshman Natalie Colegrove, an instrumental performance major, will arrive at the University of Miami having already performed in several states and national-level ensembles, including the Honor Band of America, the All National Honor Band and the California All State Honor Band. Colegrove, who is from Cupertino, California, has been playing wind instruments since she was 11 years old.
“When I started the band, I felt an immediate connection to my instrument,” Colegrove said. “I loved my instrument more than anyone else, and I tried to practice harder than everyone else because I genuinely enjoyed it.”
For Colegrove, music goes beyond a hobby or passion. When she began playing the euphonium, a tube-like instrument commonly played in military bands, she knew she had found her calling. By sophomore year in high school, she had mastered the bass trombone, a common instrument used in orchestra performances. This year, she started producing and distributing independent lo-fi music, relaxing and slower-paced music commonly used for studying.
“For me, music is humanity, my passion,” she said. “I can’t imagine a life without it. It really makes you feel really unique. It’s almost dissociating and it gives me so many chills. I especially love the idea of delayed gratification, where I practice hard every single day and one day I can make something that will move someone else,” she continued.”
At the Frost School, Colegrove said she looks forward to improving as a musician in any way possible.
“I just want to be the best I can fundamentally so that I can make the best music. My goal as a musician is to be an influential figure for the euphonium because a lot of people don’t know what it is, but it’s such a beautiful instrument.”
While Colegrove said she believes schools are important for fostering the growth of fledgling musicians, she said the best experiences come from varied competitions, travel opportunities and connections made outside of the education system.
“Even if you come from a school with a great band program, you should still go outside and go statewide or even nationwide,” Colegrove said. “As a musician, networking is definitely the way you survive, and outside competitions are a great way to do that.”
Music is driven by performers and people like Colegrove who spend day after day honing their craft to the point of exhaustion. But without the ability to build a platform for sharing their art, Colegrove said, the road to climbing the musical mountaintop would be long and laborious.
“I think social media is a huge factor to my success, because people can see my work then sponsor me or ask me to come to interviews, and they ultimately hear my music better.”
“It honestly is the quickest way to spread any type of music-related work.”
Colegrove said she ultimately hopes to leverage the knowledge she gains from the Frost School and play music for the people who need it most.
“It would be really cool for the kids and parents in hospitals to witness something like a little tuba. For me, it’s a sense of ‘wow’ and I’m just in the moment playing music for them,” Colegrove said.
“In life, I personally believe you’re drawn to some things with music, that you have some purpose with your instrument.”
With 700 students, 91.3 percent of graduates have jobs or are in graduate school within six months of graduation.