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  • Brittany Stone - Nov 2023 alumni spotlight

November 2023 Alumni Spotlight - Brittany Stone, ’17

Brittany Stone (Bachelor of Music, music education with a certificate in vocal performance) is the International Program Coordinator, Teaching Artist and Storytelling Coordinator at Broadway for Arts Education. We recently caught up with Brittany to ask her some questions about her time at the USC School of Music.

Why did you choose the USC School of Music?  

I was drawn to USC for the football and the fun! But also for the strong music program. What truly solidified my decision was my audition day. As I walked through the campus and explored the music facilities, I was struck by the warmth and professionalism of the music faculty. Their dedication to their craft and their commitment to nurturing the talents of their students were evident. 

What ensembles did you perform with while at USC? 

Concert Choir; Opera at USC

What person, course or experience was most influential for you while at the School of Music? How?  

After my first class with Dr. Wendy Valerio, I knew I would stay in Music Education for a long time. We clicked right away, and I was so inspired by her teaching that I decided to apply for the Magellan Scholarship with her as my mentor. She's a passionate educator, and her feedback on papers and projects was incredibly helpful and thorough. I grew as a musician, person, and educator under her guidance, and was fortunate to receive the Magellan Research Scholarship, which allowed me to embark on my research project, "Examining the Implementation of A Music Learning Theory for Gordon, 2013) in Spain." This was my very first solo travel adventure, and I absolutely loved it. It was a game-changer in my life, leading me to become an international music educator. I am so grateful to have had her influence. 

In addition to my appreciation for Dr. Valerio, I also have profound love and respect for Dr. Alicia W. Walker, Prof. Ellen Douglas Schlaefer and Dr. Tina Stallard. I feel incredibly grateful to have had the privilege of working with their brilliance. 

How has your education at the USC School of Music helped you in your life and career? 

My education at the USC School of Music provided me with a solid technical foundation that has proven invaluable in my teaching and performance pursuits. Additionally, the program instilled in me the importance of embracing challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone. This willingness to take risks has been a defining factor in my continued growth and success, both as a musician and educator. 

What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors or activities while attending the School of Music? 

I have so many amazing memories! I really loved choir tours with Dr. Wyatt, especially the international ones. I loved the long and challenging rehearsals for operas, and miss being in those basement rooms so much.

One of my favorite memories was our last music education class with Dr. Valerio with the class of 2017 choral music student teaching cohort. We created an arrangement of "Mercy" by Dave Matthews Band. We all had sung together in the choir for years, but we came together to create music in a completely different way with ukuleles, xylophones, and other classroom instruments. Our final product was so beautiful and we had so much fun in the creative process. 

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates pursuing a music performance or music education career? 

Embrace risk-taking and seize every available opportunity during your time at the university. Tailor your time to align with your aspirations, and if possible, explore a wide range of courses and clubs that pique your interest. 

What is one of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from the School of Music in which your education played a role?

One of the most rewarding achievements in my career has been my involvement with the Shanti Bhavan Children's Project through Broadway for Arts Education. It's a source of immense pride for me, as both organizations perfectly align with my values and passion for education. Being part of these organizations and working with such talented and passionate individuals has not only been a source of pride but also a constant source of inspiration for me.

In my current role as the Program Coordinator for Shanti Bhavan's Music Program, I have the privilege of working with a diverse teaching staff from around the world. Together, we're dedicated to nurturing the musical talent at Shanti Bhavan. It's an incredibly fulfilling role that allows me to blend my love for music with my commitment to education.

Please share any recent career changes, accomplishments, awards, major life events, etc.

I am currently living in Marrakesh, Morocco, and am working with friends here on Earthquake relief. There is a long journey ahead for rebuilding with the remote communities in the Atlas Mountains. Our story and updates can be found at Go Fund Me.

Right now we are working to secure funding to support communities for the next year with supplies, learning spaces, medical care, and more while we continue the process of rebuilding.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.