I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, in a very well constructed and well funded music program, and there were lots of benefits to this. I was surrounded by plenty of other young musicians who wanted to be successful, and our school sent lots of people to districts and all state festivals every year. Being in Boston was also amazing in terms of musical exposure: the BSO (and Boston pops), NEC and their many youth orchestras, wind ensembles, and choirs, Berklee, etc. However, in this major orchestra city, most wind players strived for orchestra seats and put wind ensembles at second choice. The top scoring performers at festivals would always go to the orchestra. As a euphonium player, this meant I didn’t have as many opportunities as others, but it also meant there were just significantly less euphonium players around me. There were only two other euphoniumists at my high school , and I was the only one in my grade. Coming here to IU, I suddenly met all these other players my age, some of whom had come from places where euphonium was a pretty common choice and band festivals were more important than orchestra. I’ve experienced this year what most other instrumentalists experience early on: learning from your peers and being surrounded by people working on the same thing as you. It’s been wonderful to actually have people older than me who inspire me, and people my age to talk and play with. Watching the rest of the studio perform whether it be in videos or in studio class has given me a much greater understanding of the instrument and I’m very grateful for this. In my first semester, I was in a trio with the other two freshmen, and it was a very rewarding musical experience for me.