Commission Music

Commission Music
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Monday, 6 January 2003

Statement of Purpose - Mills College

When I was in high school, I had to decide between pursuing a career in computer programming or in professional tuba playing. On the advice of my tuba teacher, I chose computer science. At Mills, I, finished all the requirements for my major by my junior year, so I took music classes and got interested in composition and especially electronic music. I graduated with two majors.

I started a professional career in computer programming, the plan I chose for economic reasons. It wasn't long before I realized that studying computer science is interesting, but day-to-day programming is not. I had a hard time fitting in the culture of Silicon Valley. When I got laid off in 2001, I considered making a career change to music, but as a composer, rather than as a tuba player.

Last spring I attended the Composing a Career Conference sponsored by the Women's Philharmonic. Almost everyone else there had a masters degree and the presenters all assumed they were speaking to a masters-educated audience. Realizing I needed more education, I started looking into graduate programs. Mills College seemed like an obvious choice.

Obviously, since I attended Mills as an undergraduate, I'm familiar with your reputation. There's no better school on the West Coast at which to study electronic music. I'm especially interested in your algorithmic composition track. My dual background in computers and music makes me a good match to study this. I'm also interested in acquiring new skills in composing for pitched instruments. Because your program covers both electronic composition and pitched composition, I hope to be able to hone my existing skills and translate them, while acquiring news skills, to more pitched composing. Algorithmic composition seems like the perfect synthesis of these goals and Mills is the obvious choice of where to pursue them.

feedback? ok mills is good. why should they care about me? etc

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