Next Steps: Samuel Walter '17
The music major is the recipient of the Stephen and Denise Adams Scholarship at the Yale School of Music.
What is the name of the scholarship or fellowship that you've won?
The Stephen and Denise Adams Scholarship at the Yale School of Music
What does this award fund?
The scholarship provides full tuition and a $4000 stipend for students attending the Yale School of Music.
What are your future plans, both next year and beyond? And how will this fellowship help you achieve or work towards those future goals?
In the long term, I hope to become a performer and a professor at a conservatory. The scholarship will help enable me to get valuable teaching experience and a rigorous training in performance, musicology and composition. This well-rounded music education will hopefully allow me to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation for classical music by making it more than just just a technical exercise, but an intellectual and emotional experience that can enrich their lives. Furthermore, I hope that my education at the Yale School of Music will help me excite audiences and release the power of the Classical repertoire. By approaching classical music from a broadened perspective, that includes musicological, compositional, historical and philosophical elements, I believe performers can help satisfy our society's need for the arts.
Were there any particular Haverford faculty members who helped you work toward this fellowship or your chosen field in general?
I owe a lot to Heidi Jacob, the director of instrumental studies at Haverford College, in helping me work towards my audition at the Yale School of Music. Throughout my entire senior year she contacted her colleagues in New York and Philadelphia and arranged for me to have lessons with phenomenal teachers. Throughout the past four years she has also given me private lessons and offered helpful career advice. The rest of the music department has also been very supportive in providing numerous opportunities for masterclasses with great musicians and helping me in all of my musical endeavors.
How has your Haverford experience influenced what you plan to do with your scholarship/fellowship?
Over the past four years at Haverford, I have had the benefit of receiving an education that is not wholly centered on music performance. I have greatly appreciated the way in which my musicology, composition, music theory, philosophy and political science courses at Haverford have allowed me to view the repertoire in a broader context. One of the largest factors in my decision to apply to the school was the fact that the Yale School of Music provides ample opportunities for students to explore other academic subjects outside of music performance, while still supplying an excellent music education.
Is there anything else we should know?
I'm also extremely thankful for my music instructors outside Haverford College, especially George Atanasiu, who helped me work towards my audition at the Yale Music School. Over the past four years, he would often give me lessons several times a week to keep me on track and insure that I was practicing and progressing in my performance skills despite the academic workload.