50 Years of Alumni: Erica Rempert
Nursing major, St. Olaf College ’20
What years were you in GTCYS?
I was in GTCYS from 2011-2016.
What skills or lessons did you learn in GTCYS that you still use today?
A lesson that I learned in GTCYS and continue to practice is the value of teamwork. When I started GTCYS in 2011, I had very little experience playing with a full orchestra or a string bass section that was larger than two people. My first year in Philharmonic, I began to understand the immense amount of teamwork that is required to play difficult orchestral pieces. My second year in GTCYS was in Symphony under the direction of Maestro Smith. He demanded nothing less than collaboration, concentration, and full commitment from every player. By the end of four years in Symphony, I understood the value of ensuring you contribute your part to the best of your abilities so everyone is able to succeed together.
In May 2020, I graduated college in the middle of a global pandemic and started my first nursing job. Something that I always say is nursing is a “team sport”. Every single person on a patients care team has a specific job to do that will hopefully result in high quality patient care. In my first year of nursing, I have relied on my coworkers to help support me through the physical, mental, and emotional work that is required of me each time I step into the hospital. I cannot care for some of my patients without another person helping me and neither can my colleagues. The skill of teamwork that is essential in nursing was not initially introduced to me in the hospital at the bedside. Instead, the value of teamwork was initially introduced to me in orchestra rehearsal.
Why do you think GTCYS is important for students now?
I think GTCYS is important for students because it provides a space where you are able to grow as a musician while also providing a sense of community. My enjoyment and love for music come from being able to create beautiful music with a community of people. For me, one of the large motivations behind practicing was being able to get into a music ensemble so I would make music with others. In college, I decided to pursue both orchestra and choir. In both ensembles, I found people who loved making music and people who I could rely on when I was feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Knowing that you have a community to support you is extremely important not only for young musicians, but for everyone.
How does music still play a part in your life?
Now, music is something that I enjoy playing in my car after a tough shift at work or on long car rides. As a nurse, it’s difficult to find a music ensemble that will also work with my schedule but I hope to find and join an ensemble in the future.
What is your favorite composer or piece of music?
The entire soundtrack of Hamilton.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I have cat named Mochi and she is the light of my life!
What do you hope to see from GTCYS in the next 50 years?
I hope to continue to see that GTCYS provides a welcoming and accessible environment for young musicians to explore their passion for music while experiencing a supportive community of people.