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by Angelica Galicia

This month, I had the privilege of meeting up with CMPI French Horn alumna Darlyne Hidalgo on a cold Saturday morning near the DePaul campus. Darlyne is a sophomore studying Music Performance and was actually working that morning on campus helping out with the auditions for prospective students. If she hadn’t been helping out with the auditions, she might have been working her barista job or rehearsing. She took some time off of her busy schedule to let us all know how it’s going and to offer some advice to CMPI fellows.

Darlyne headshotDarlyne initially wasn’t too sure she wanted to stay in Chicago for college. She applied to different colleges throughout the country (and even one in Canada!) but is glad she chose to attend DePaul. She’s had a lot of highlights at DePaul, but says that it always comes down to being on stage at the end of a performance, with the lights bright and seeing the conductor put their baton down and realizing, “This is what I’m doing; I love it!” We spoke about representation in orchestras and the lack of Latinos, much less Latinas, in classical music performances and she said she sees that it is starting to change a bit, that she sees more Latinos and Latinas studying music performance.

When I asked Darlyne about any difficult moments she’s experienced so far, she says she’s lucky that since she chose to go to DePaul she knows a lot of people from her past, so that is reassuring to her. But from time to time different activities seem to overlap, like performing several times a week, exams, and midterm performances. But she says she enjoys the stress. I asked her if the recitals and juries she participated in with CMPI helped her out when she entered college and she said they were helpful but she still gets nervous. We spoke about how she organizes school life and regular non-school life and she said she likes to keep busy, and Google Calendar has been a big help keeping her organized. Google Calendar helps her manage all of her different activities and she manages to stay focused, manage her job, and maintain a healthy social life.

Darlyne said her goal right now in terms of playing is to just get better. Preparing for auditions is something she works on so she’ll know she’ll be prepared for them. Another goal she has down the line is to attend graduate school and receive at least her Master’s degree.

Darlyne’s advice for CMPI seniors is for them to take care of your mental health during auditions. She says that students should “know their hard work will pay off in the future.” She also advises that when the students are in college to try to work with the school during auditions and performances; doing so the students get to meet more professors and get to know them better since they will be working hand in hand with them. It will become a great resource in the future.

It was nice to meet up with Darlyne and get an idea of what college life is like for a music performance major. She is thankful to CMPI for all the assistance with travel she was given during college auditions and more so the support she was given as a fellow with CMPI. As a parent to a CMPI fellow, I find it reassuring that CMPI checks in with the alumni and follows up with them after they’ve graduated. Darlyne and I think it’s a nice aspect of CMPI and I hope to catch up with her during one of the CMPI social gatherings during the summer.


Darlyne’s headshot

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