Okay, so four posts in one day might be a little over the top. However you get one more because I wanted to share with you a letter that I sent to the president of GSMD as a thank you for my scholarship. I'm not actually thoughtful enough to have come up with the idea of a thank you note on my own (it is a requirement of receiving the scholarship), but I spent quite a lot of time on the letter and I thought you might enjoy reading it:
Dear Mr. Ife,
My name is Casey Middaugh. I am originally from Seattle in the US, but have spent the last six years in Michigan and Maryland going to music school. I’ve been trained as an orchestral double bass player and in undergrad I discovered early music as well. I had a friend who was at Guildhall last year for Transverse flute. I wasn’t sure what to do following my undergraduate degree. I was certain by that point that the road to being an orchestral bass player was not for me and since I had enjoyed my early music experiences so much I thought I might follow my friend and look at Guildhall for that. While poking about the GSMD website I noticed a side bar that said ‘music leadership.’ I wondered what that could be, so I clicked on it.
I understood very little about what the MMus in Leadership was really about, but what I could gather was both intriguing and incredibly exciting. Based on that one page of information I proceeded to apply for a Fulbright scholarship. I did not get to the final level of the Fulbright process, but I bring this up because it is not an easy fellowship to apply for. It involves a number of essays, three separate references and letters from each, as well as an individual interview with a panel from the University where you defend your application. I willingly did all of that based on one page of your website.
When I got to the audition in April my interest only grew. The professional development office was gracious in inviting those auditioning from overseas to come to the creative development workshop the weekend before the auditions. That workshop was my first experience with anything of its kind. I had never improvised before. I had never been involved in a group composition. I had never had the opportunity for my ideas to affect the course of an entire piece. The workshop blew my mind and I think I was grinning the entire weekend.
Thank you for helping to make it possible for me to attend GSMD this year. I mean this sincerely: I could not have imagined a school more suited to me.
I keep a blog to both track my progress at GSMD and to keep in touch with my friends and family. Please feel free to check it out if you have a free moment. The blog can be found at londoncasey.blogspot.com
Thank you again,
Supported by the Guildhall School Trust