Enough about me already – let’s talk about another DePaul student that you should know about. Over the past 3.5 years I have had the opportunity to meet and network with some truly phenomenal musicians and teachers. Last week, I had the privilege of attending a performance by my colleague and good friend, Natalie Vanderlaan, a 4th year music education student (like myself) and fabulous vocalist, pianist, and composer. I decided to interview Natalie about some of her recent accomplishments and how DePaul has helped her along the way.
First of all, let me tell you that this girl has accomplished A LOT over the past few years. Here are just a few highlights:
- Member of the DePaul Choirs where she performed works such as Beethoven 9 and the Mozart Requiem.
- A vocalist in Chicago’s annual Schubert celebration,
“Schubertiade” for two years.
- A chorus member for the opera, La Boheme her freshman year.
- Music director at Etc. Music School in Evanston, IL, where
she helps to create and direct original musical theatre for children
kindergarten to 12th grade.
- Music director and pianist for a show at Second City Chicago.
- Regular performer at the DePaul “Lounge” – every Thursday
evening, DePaul brings in student musicians to give performances for anyone who
wants to attend.
Thursday night at the Lounge, located in the DePaul Student Center, was where I saw Natalie perform last week – It was awesome! Not only is
Natalie a great singer, but she also wrote a majority of the songs she
performed. I kid you not; this girl could give Sara Bareilles a run for her
money. I don’t think I could have been more impressed.
In an interview with Natalie after hearing her perform, it
was really awesome to hear her talk about how much DePaul has helped in getting
her to where she is now.
“Through DePaul I’ve learned to be a
compelling and original performer – and to not apologize for taking the stage
and for making a statement” – Natalie Vanderlaan
Natalie said that the most helpful skills she’s learned
came from her music theory, music history and music education classes at
DePaul, and says these classes were really foundational in her recent
accomplishments. Natalie also stressed the importance of collaborating with her
peers - taking advantage of the knowledge and skills of others is crucial for a growing musician and educator.
“I chose DePaul not only for its excellent track record with
music, but also because of the Vincentian ideal and integration into the city
of Chicago. DePaul celebrates and empowers the inherent dignity of every human
being, all while providing us with opportunities to strengthen our skills and
learn through experience in the city”
So true, Natalie. Thank you DePaul, for surrounding me with
some of the most talented friends I could ask for.