Artists of all disciplines in graduate school are often focused on the singular goal of a professorship in higher education upon graduation. While there are opportunities for artists outside of the academy (“alt-ac”), securing these gigs can be overwhelming. Few resources exist for those considering augmenting their careers with these “non-traditional” endeavors. In particular, there is a need for resources that feature the stories of artists who hold historically underrepresented identities. Ogechi Ukazu and I received a grant from Texas Career Engagement to create content interviewing folks who have bridged this divide. We hope this content is useful as you consider your professional journey!
You're on the Air
Dr. Ryan Kelly (The University of Texas at Austin and KMFA 89.5) shares his experiences working in public radio, teaching and administering at the university level, and cultivating reward centers to live a meaningful life.
Building your Portfolio Career
Dr. Matthew Arau (Upbeat Global and Lawrence University Conservatory of Music) discusses building a portfolio career, conquering self-doubt, and cultivating a fulfilling life with intention.
Thinking Bigger in the Arts: Part I
Dr. Mary Ellen Poole (Carnegie Mellon University) shares inspirational and revelatory stories about the challenges and opportunities of being a leader of artist-academics in new spaces.
Understanding the Academy/Industry Intersection
Jamil Hooper (Industry Relations Manager at The University of Texas at Austin) shares guidance on bridging the gap between academia and the private sector, the essential role of mentorship and relationships, and his own experience navigating a circuitous career path.
Thinking Bigger in the Arts: Part II
Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner (Dean of the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University) discusses interdisciplinary work in the arts, artificial intelligence, today’s gig economy, and building a compelling portfolio for seeking employment.
Community Music: Part I | Austin Brass Collective
David Hummel (President of the Austin Brass Collective) joins Ogechi Ukazu to share his journey of founding the ABC in 2021. The ensemble has quickly joined the musical landscape of central Texas and has performed at the 2022 TMEA Clinic/Convention and alongside the Dallas Winds. David shares the lessons he’s learned since the ensemble’s inception as well as advice based on his own “alt-ac” career.
Community Music: Part II | Maryland Chamber Winds
Tyler Austin (Artistic Director and Conductor of Maryland Chamber Winds) shares the story behind the origin and success of MCW, the importance of the human experience in his performances, and the unrelenting nature of having a portfolio career.
Community Music: Part III | Kinnara & Orpheus Chamber Singers
Dr. J.D. Burnett (Artistic Director of Kinnara and Orpheus Chamber Singers) joins Tyler Ehrlich to share his experiences working with professional and community choirs, the value of being a lifelong artist, and the necessity of taking ownership of one’s own learning.
Keeping Score: A Composer’s Chat
Viet Cuong (Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas) talks with Tyler Ehrlich about composition pedagogy, social media, and the value of lived experience.
Amplifying Your Social Media Presence
Mike Lebrias (Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin) joins Ogechi Ukazu to discuss how to cultivate one’s social media presence, the necessity to diversify artistic spaces, and music pedagogy in higher education.
Community Music: Part IV | The Dallas Winds
Jerry Junkin (Artistic Director and Conductor of The Dallas Winds) joins Tyler Ehrlich to discuss his 30-year tenure with the organization. In addition to discussing his extensive experience leading the ensemble, the interview includes themes of lifelong artistry, community connection, differences between academic, community, and professional music, and more.
Tyler Ehrlich and Ogechi Ukazu summarize and conclude Uncovering Possibilities. In their conversation, they discuss the common themes, including a commitment to the mastery of each artist’s craft, a determination and attention to detail, the need for flexibility, and the duality of unrelenting persistence and patience for success.