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One of the biggest influences during my time at Dartmouth was the Music FSP in 1999, which took place in London and led by Professor Sally Pinkas. During my junior year, I was fortunate to explore this fantastic city along with 16 of my classmates, where we attended concerts of everything from opera, symphony orchestras, string quartets (the Brentano Quartet at Wigmore Hall was one of my most vivid memories), to jazz singers, experimental and electronic music. Absorbing these experiences like a sponge, we were immersed in musical life of London, and learned about the dedication and practice required to bring our creative and artistic ideas to fruition.
As much as I learned from the concerts and teachers on the FSP, I gained equally as much from the insights (and antics!) of my Dartmouth classmates, and their thoughts about music and studying abroad in the UK. After that FSP, something in me clicked, and I became a full-fledged music major, with the hope of going onto graduate school. The Music Department trained me well in scholarship as I continued a senior thesis on Filipino music with Professor Bill Summers. Looking back, my comprehensive education at Dartmouth prepared me well for work in the music industry today.
Ten years after the FSP, after marrying an Englishman and moving to the UK, I found myself back in London as a professional musician, playing on the very same stages where I watched concerts during the FSP. At the time I would never have thought it, but now I understand the pivotal and serendipitous role the Music Department had in preparing me for the work I perform now.
Carmen Flores '00
Principal Viola, Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Violist, Villiers Quartet