Saigelyn Green knew she wanted to enroll at USM when she saw the water tower atop USM’s Gorham campus. For four years of singing and study — earning magna cum laude honors on her bachelor’s degree in Music Education — the Derby, Vermont native made USM her home, she said.
What led you to pursue your education at USM? My choral teacher from high school told me about USM because her son had gone here years before. When I came to audition/interview at the school of music, I knew it was the school for me. The atmosphere of the school, and the professors especially hooked me. It was clear to me that the School of Music faculty had a real passion for teaching, and they truly cared about making everyone's experience a good and meaningful one.
Have you had an experience at USM that you feel changed your life or your view of the world? There have been too many to count. From touring with the USM Chamber Singers at a high school in the Bronx on our way to a conference, to my professors supporting me so much to the point where I could create my own class (Composer's Choir). I got to work on my composition professor's opera score editing team and was able to go see that opera in Pittsburg. That particular situation was what made me switch my focus from voice to composition. I loved it so much! The choral director at USM has had the Chamber Singers sing 3 of my own compositions over the past 4 years, which is outstanding because not only was it music by a student, but new music, AND by a woman. That does not happen as often as people would think. Tthe thing that changed me most was knowing that the professors at USM's School of Music care so much. They created so many opportunities for myself and other students, and that changed my life because it gave me a sense of empowerment I hadn't felt before college. I wasn't always the kind of person to have my eye on the prize, but they instilled such a sense of self-assurance and confidence in me by always supporting me and providing SUCH incredible opportunities. Sometimes all someone needs is to truly feel believed in.
What are your future plans? I am currently looking for jobs in New England to be a music educator. I would love to teach composition in schools and share the love that I have for composing with others. I plan on going to graduate school in 3-4 years for composition, and then eventually get my doctorate and teach composition at a university level.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank? Dr. Nicolás Dosman, Dr. Michele Kaschub, Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, and Professor Taylor O'Donnell. Each one of these professors had some part in making me the educator, musician, and person that I am today. The expectations they held me to pushed me farther than I ever imagined myself going, and I cannot thank them enough.