Whether it’s a difficult note, a home run or his homework, Matthew Bronstein always delivers a star performance. An intramural athlete who majored in French horn performance at Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), Matt’s received his Bachelor of Music in May 2010.
Why did Matt choose Roosevelt? “Student musicians apply to schools to study with a specific person, and Roosevelt has one of the most famous horn players in the world.” Matt calls Dale Clevenger, the Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1966 and professor at CCPA, a “living legend” responsible for changing how horn players are perceived in the world of professional music. In fact, the professors at his other potential college choices were former students of Clevenger. “While I was trying to make my decision, one of my high school teachers said something very simple and direct: ‘Why study with the student when you can study with the teacher?’”
Hailing from a suburban community outside of Los Angeles, Matt has decided to stay in Chicago after graduation to freelance and network to further his career. Matt enjoys living close to the well-rounded learning experience at Roosevelt’s downtown Chicago Campus, full of music, sports and culture. “Chicago is so amazing. You are in the prime location to have a great time and meet people who could help shape your career.” Plus, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is two blocks from campus. World-famous for its brass section, they even offer student tickets. “For me, that’s the best.” He is now the newest member of hte Civic Orchestra of Chicago horn section, which is the student training orchestra to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout his life, Matt has been active in sports, including football, baseball and wrestling. A born athlete, he longed for a physical outlet to balance out his rigorous academic and practice schedule, so he joined Roosevelt’s club baseball team. “I enjoy the team camaraderie. Also, it helps you meet people.”
Preparing students for post-graduate success is key at Roosevelt. “The CCPA has an outstanding and impressive list of faculty members who have spent many years as professional musicians. They know the business backwards and forwards.” Matt especially appreciates the emphasis on mastering auditions. “It can take months to really get into a piece, but that’s how you get a job.”
Matt said he’s thrilled about the University’s reinstatement of intercollegiate athletics, which promises to introduce at least 12 varsity teams over the next five years – including baseball! “It’s going to be great for social networking and for school spirit. Going to a game makes students feel like they’re a part of something.”
When he’s not playing Mahler or baseball Matt’s also a freelance musician. “Living in the city while attending school is teaching me how to survive as a growing musician in a thriving city. It’s exposing me to so many areas of the arts, which fuels my passion for music even more.”
Since attending Roosevelt, Matt has noticed significant improvement in everything from his technical ability and phrasing to his overall knowledge of musicality, and he’s currently first chair. Since graduation, he joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and became a finalist/sub for the New World Symphony, “America’s Orchestral Academy” in Miami Beach, Florida. He was the runner up for the assistant principal positoin with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra. He attended several prestigious summer festivals including the Round Top Music Festival in Round Top, TX and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA. He lived and performed this past summer in Lenox, MA as a fellow with the internationally-known Tanglewood Music Center. Eventually, he dreams of holding a principal horn position in one of the top orchestras in the world and playing some studio or movie work on the side.
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