Music has been a way of life for Erik Lundquist for as long as he can remember.
“I was always interested in music,” Erik said. “My parents are musicians, my dad is a retired band director, and my mom played oboe for many years and is very knowledgeable in music so I grew up in a musical family.”
A graduate of Jamestown High School and the University of North Texas College of Music where he received bachelor degrees in Music Education and Euphonium Performance, Erik is currently attending graduate school at UNT and pursuing a master’s degree in Euphonium Performance.
In addition to lots of practice, Erik takes a variety of classes that teach students the origins of their musical interests by studying wind band literature, music theory, and composition, which all lead up to the culmination of the degree, a public performance.
Over the summer, Erik had the unique opportunity to perform as a soloist in Europe.
“Through Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, they have an international program where they take high school students, bands, an orchestra, a choir, a theatre ensemble and a ballet ensemble and they tour Europe,” he said. “With that, they also take college aged student teachers along as chaperones as well and use them to teach sectionals before they leave. (This past summer) I was the brass teacher for one of the bands and the director and I were talking about different opportunities to keep the college students involved and mentioned a solo opportunity. So I was fortunate enough to solo in Europe as we toured through France, Germany and The Netherlands.”
And although he is studying away from Chautauqua County, he appreciates his roots here and is involved in a number of local events that celebrate music such as the Chautauqua Concert Band, which puts middle school musicians side to side with their teachers.
“It’s really through a lot of the encouragement and the teachings through different organizations, Jamestown Public Schools and other organizations in Chautauqua County that really led me to the university to pursue this as a career,” he said.
And while he still has time before graduation, Erik already has his eyes on his dream job.
“The job I really like is to play with the Premier Service Band in Washington, D.C. The military is a fantastic employer for musicians, especially for wind band because it’s really one of the only full-time, professional wind bands in the country and (members) are just at the highest quality possible. I would love to do that.”
This is part of a series focusing on students who have received scholarship assistance from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. If you were a scholarship recipient and want to share your story, contact Sarah Marciniak at 661-3390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current high school seniors or college students interested in learning more about the scholarship opportunities available through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation can learn more here. Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 school- year and are due June 1.