50 Years of Alumni: Cameron Jarvis

Follow Cameron on Instagram @cameronjarvisart and visit his website to see his recent projects.

College(s)/University attended:
Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN (BA in music performance and visual art)
Temple University, Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia, PA (MFA in painting)
Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK (semester abroad studying painting)

What years were you in GTCYS?
2007-2011. I graduated high school in 2011.

What skills or lessons did you learn in GTCYS that you still use today?
I learned so much about listening, and about really understanding what is happening in a piece of music. Those lessons have taken me far in my music and art making practices. I also really appreciate the high level of communication and teamwork that happens when so many people make music together.

Why do you think GTCYS is important for students now?
So many reasons! Young people need a place and a community for exploring complex emotions and ideas. Music is such an important medium for self-expression, and learning cooperation at the same time makes playing in GTCYS an invaluable experience. Also, learning music is so good for your brain!

How does music still play a part in your life?
I spent most of 2020 teaching myself some basic recording skills, and I have been composing and recording my own songs. I have just started sharing these recordings and I am excited to dive deeper into this new way of making music. My recording practice feels like a place where I can bring any idea, past experience, or question I have and understand it more fully by integrating it into music.

What is your favorite composer or piece of music?
I really like the album Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt. His lyrics and chaotic feeling of the music really resonate with me. At the same time, there are so many elements in the album that I don’t understand fully, and something new strikes me with each listen.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
My parents emigrated from the Caribbean island of Antigua before I was born. I have visited several times and I hope to live there long term at some point in my life.

What do you hope to see from GTCYS in the next 50 years?
I would love to see more Black folks and other people of color find a place in classical music, and I think GTCYS can be a part of that.

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