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Senior viola fellow Nate Scott finds inspiration in an unlikely place: “Something that inspires me as a musician is watching someone gush about what they love about a particular song or sound design in general. I love playing music for my own vague reasons, but watching someone eloquently express why they love an aspect of a song or some sound design really warms my heart.” In addition to music, Nate, who also goes by Reese, has a passion for the visual arts and enjoys game design.

Like many students, Nate found this year to be pretty bumpy, describing much of it as “a massive lull.” Despite the bumps, he has had a banner year. He played with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and his school orchestra, while also preparing for and successfully completing college auditions. He also appeared on television as part of a recording for a pop song and got to play at his private teacher’s wedding!

The Jones College Preparatory High School senior began violin lessons at age seven as a birthday present, but quickly made his way to the viola. “I was given the opportunity to mess around with a rental viola at the school where I was studying, which was the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute. I found the sound of the viola to be much more resonant and emotional than that of the violin. I then decided that I wanted more from the music I played.”

He currently studies with Ms. Hilary Logan Butler, crediting her with teaching him a very important life lesson. “She taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that confronting those mistakes is always the best way to read your life, in any respect.”

For Nate, CMPI has been “a source of insight for musicians of color, and their experience in the field.” He also enjoyed the seminars and workshops and greatly appreciated the financial support. He was able to purchase a new instrument and bow for college, and he plans on getting a case to protect his new instrument.

His top tip for younger CMPI students is “to get the concert reports out of the way ASAP!! CMPI feels much more manageable and more like a fun extracurricular activity if the more assignment-feeling activities are out of the way.”

Nate has found this pandemic year to be particularly challenging. “This year was kind of a struggle for me, but I’m glad I got through it! I just don’t [know] what to expect next, and I’m not sure I’m ready for [this year] to be over.” While he may not know what to expect, he does know that he will be attending DePaul University in the fall, where he plans on majoring in music education with a possible minor in the social sciences.

TOP: “Viola Dreams” | Art by LENA

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