Meet Our Bloggers: Emma and Scott

Scott Koven had volunteered to continue as a Westminster Choir blogger for the 2017-2018 season.  He’s joined by first-year graduate student Emma Daniels.  They look forward to sharing their experiences at Westminster Choir College with our blog readers.  Here are some fast facts about them.

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Emma Daniels

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Choral Conducting
Teacher: Joe Miller
Voice part: Soprano 2
Class Year: First year grad

Professional plans after graduation
I don’t know yet! I hope to conduct and teach, of course, and also plan to continue singing and composing choral music. I would love to be able to travel and interact with people from different cultures, and make music with those people!

Composers I admire
This is a really hard question to answer briefly. To mention a few, I really love Josquin, Schütz, Mozart, Elgar, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, Beach, Britten, Poulenc, Janáček, Penderecki, and Rorem. There are SO many more…

Why Westminster
The conducting faculty here struck me as incredibly innovative and inspiring and the performance opportunities are unparalleled. It feels wonderful to be part of a program that lives on a one-of-a-kind, very special, choral-centric campus.

Life outside of class
I like to go on long runs, color or draw, or relax with a nice, warm cup of coffee. I also like to work on new ideas for musical projects and compose!

What’s on my iPod
My iPod is predominantly taken up by choral and classical music, but also features a lot of Queen, CCR, David Bowie, Coldplay, Muse, The Killers, and Bobby McFerrin.

Favorite apps
Apps I’ve been using most recently are Google Maps (still getting to know the NJ area) and Metronome (which is pretty self explanatory).

Favorite food
My favorite food is probably eggs, cooked in every way.

Last book read
The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan

If you were trapped on a desert island, who/what would you like to have with you?
A group of singers and musicians and an endless supply of scores/sheet music and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Scott Koven

Hometown: Burke, VA
Major: Choral Conducting
Teacher: Joe Miller
Voice part: Bass 1
Class Year: Second year graduate student

Professional plans after graduation
Anyone who pursues an artistic profession knows you have to be open to anything once school is over, and I’ve certainly adopted that mindset! I’ve had a chance to do a little professional singing, so I hope to continue and add to that. I’m certainly open to teaching. I’d love to broaden my orchestral experience/knowledge. Not exactly sure yet, but I’m excited for the future.

Composers I admire
Too many! My top is always Brahms. The man just knew how to get to the heart, and in such a technically beautiful manner. Schicksalslied, op. 54 is my favorite piece of all time. Lately the Spanish Renaissance composer Victoria has been up there as well. His Officium Defunctorum is to die for…no pun intended.

Why Westminster
So many potential opportunities and wonderful alumni influenced the decision, but the most impactful thing was probably the sheer quality of performance. I had the opportunity to see the Westminster Choir on their tour in 2016, and I was absolutely blown away both by the sound and the meaning of the program. After my first year, I still feel so incredibly lucky to be a part of it, and a part of this incredible community.

Life outside of class
I love to be outside, whether it’s just relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book, or hiking back in the Shenandoah Valley. I love to take a break from Princeton and drive country roads. I love to watch The Office. I love hanging out with great people outside of school. Anything to give me a little space from the nitty-gritty of the day.

What’s on my iPod
So much. Music nerdy stuff, so tons of choirs, orchestras, pianists, chamber groups, solo singers, etc. Outside of that, I love Pentatonix, Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, Johnnyswim…the good stuff!

Cats or Dogs?
Cats. I love dogs as well, but at the end of the day I just love how cats are self-sufficient and don’t need you. That being said, they are also quite cute and cuddly if you catch them at a time when they decide it’s convenient for them to grace you with their attention.

Favorite food
Burger and beer! Is that too simple? Oh well. That combo never gets old to me.

Last book read
I’m a through-and-through American history nerd, so it was a Thomas Jefferson biography: American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis.

If you were trapped on a desert island, who/what would you like to have with you?
A screen with access to The Office.