Jessica Munch-Dittmar graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music education in 2010. She is the Executive Director of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. We caught up with Jessica to discuss her time at the School of Music and current career.
Why did you choose the USC School of Music?
When making college decisions, many details become overwhelmingly important, so when it came time for me to decide I started by prioritizing. Faculty, location and atmosphere became my three pillars of criteria in choosing the right school for me. As cliché as it may sound, I feel that those things fell right into place for me at USC. Everyone was extremely friendly, welcoming and loved music just as much as I did. The environment was everything I could ask for. It is the place I felt most at home.
What ensembles did you perform with while at USC?
What person, course or experience was most influential for you while at the School of Music?
I adored performing in the tuba ensemble. It taught me a lot about teamwork and humbled me as a musician because I was able to perform with some of the best in the state!
How has your education at the School of Music helped you in your life and career?
Through my education at USC, I became a better musician and as a better musician I learned very key skills needed to be a successful arts executive. Including key skills such as working and supporting a team, listening intently to key stakeholders, how to take criticism and instruction, how to listen to myself and understand that everything is about timing and patience. My education expanded much further than the practice room and made me a better leader for the arts community.
What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors or activities while attending the School of Music?
My best memories were building friendships that have created a lifetime of professional colleagues, mentors and connections that are still an important part of my personal life and career.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates pursuing a music performance or music education career?
Practice your craft and seek out opportunities that may be outside of your comfort zone. Your career may take you into the music classroom or performance hall, but it could also expose other opportunities that you may have never thought of before in the fields just as arts management, music business and beyond.
What is one of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating?
Landing my first big role with a professional orchestra as the Education and Community Engagement Director was my first big career accomplishment which launched me into a growth trajectory I never expected. I have learned and grown so much because of and since that opportunity.