Meet Grace Monteleone!
YAHS alumnus Grace Monteleone (YAHS 2011–2016) is currently a sophomore at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she studies with Laura Byrne. She is double-majoring in Harp and Exercise and Sports Science (go Grace!). We asked her about her first year at UNC, and how YAHS helped her prepare for her time in college.
Can you tell us about your musical life at UNC?
“My time at UNC has helped me grow immensely as a musician already, and I am only half way through my time here. Aside from the excellent instruction I have received from Mrs. Laura Byrne, the harp instructor at UNC, I have been lucky enough to have access to many other knowledgeable professors in the music department who have expanded my exposure to new musical ideas and experiences. I have had the privilege to play alongside fellow harpists in the program, including fellow YAHS alumni Samantha Horn, Catherine Campbell, and Naomi Sutherland, in the UNC Harp Studio Ensemble. Together, the ensemble has done amazing things such as perform the Prokofiev “Ode to the End of War” for 8 harps and orchestra. The UNC Harp Ensemble has also performed a number of pieces that I have seen performed at YAHS.
What are some YAHS tools that you have used in college?
“Aside from musical exposure, YAHS gave me the tools to practice effectively as a college student. It was a shock to me at first just how much more practice time is required now as opposed to when I was in high school, but I think that YAHS helped prepare me for the challenge. Some of the most important skills I have taken away from YAHS include exposure to practice contracts, performance anxiety classes, and music theory classes. I am currently enrolled in Music Theory I and have found the skills that I learned at YAHS to be so helpful that my class feels more like review than learning brand new knowledge, something I am very grateful for considering the rigor of the course.”
You are double-majoring in two very different areas: Music and Sports Science. Do you have any advice for students hoping to focus on two degrees in college?
“The hardest thing for me to do this year is find that perfect balance between practice, academics, and my social life. Because I am double majoring in Harp as well as Exercise and Sport Science, in addition to taking on a part time job, the work load can be very heavy at times. I would tell any incoming college musician that the key is time management. Even though practice is not officially in my course schedule, I make it a part of my daily schedule and treat it as if it were any other required class.”