Kimia Koochakzadeh | 4th-year music major
1) What did you use your FCAT Undergraduate Funding Award for?
It was for a music composition festival/workshop taken place in Los Angeles, California.
2) How did it feel to receive the Award?
Receiving the award helped me feel more at ease by providing me with more free time to work on my compositions rather than having to work at my part-time job. More significantly, the fact that my career was being supported by the school was a huge heart-warming sensation and it created a sense of belonging which was very rewarding!
3) How did receiving the Award help you meet your academic and career goals?
I got to work directly with wasteLAnd ensemble and also receive feedback and insight from well-known composers such as Michelle Lou and Micheal Pisaro. It created future opportunities for me; for example, two of the wasteLAnd ensemble’s performers, Racheal Beetz and Dustin Donahue, will be performing one of my pieces as part of wasteLAnd concert series in April in LA.
4) What was the most memorable part of your experience?
I attended this festival right after another fascinating and productive festival at Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. The support, the welcomeness, and the high energy and joy that I received from the faculty of wasteLAnd academy and the other participants gave me a great deal of strength to make the most out of the program!
I also got to develop the piece, Evolvement II.b, which was written particularly for wasteLAnd ensemble. This piece was premiered by the ensemble in August 2019 at ArtShare LA. The academy, provided a high-quality video and audio documentation which has greatly impacted my portfolio. The fact that I can use it to apply for grants/awards and other workshops is a huge help in developing my career further while having a solid documentation of it.
5) How did your experience with this Award help prepare you for life after graduation?
It gave me a deeper insight into how the professional world works and how it is to work with established performers. The workshops and talks that took place during the academy provided useful information about the administrative aspects of being an active composer/musician.