First-Year Students Explore
Campus Music Opportunities
by Emma Saarel '14
A host of opportunities are available for students who hope to pursue their interests in music, both in and outside the classroom. Roughly halfway through their first semester, two first-year students are deeply involved with many of them.
Ximena Violante '14, from Collegeville, Pa., came to Swarthmore intending to major in music and soon joined the mariachi band, chamber quintet, and the College orchestra. She also receives private violin lessons for academic credit in Philadelphia, a longstanding offering the Music Department makes available for a number of students.
"My favorite part of the Swarthmore music program is the variety of people involved - from students who enjoy music as a hobby to those who spend all of their time in the music building," Ximena says. "I like how it seems most people on campus are or have been involved in the music program."
Ximena has been able explore interests outside of music, as well. In addition to her classes in art and French, she participates in multicultural groups and is also a dedicated member of the women's cross country team.
Saxophonist Robert Fain '14, from Mansfield, Ohio, also finds himself fully engaged in music this semester. Like Ximena, he is a member of the Swarthmore College Orchestra, whose members recently attended a free Philadelphia Orchestra concert featuring renowned violinist Joshua Bell. He is also a member of the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. These musical groups meet every week for approximately three hours each.
"I enjoy having the opportunity to play in ensembles with musicians who are talented and determined," Robert says, "but are also passionate about other aspects of their college careers."
In addition to his musical and academic explorations, Robert is also devoted to cross country. He also plans to swim for Swarthmore this winter and participate in outdoor track next semester.