Mixing Music and Journalism
Written by Giannina Imperial
Involvement in the music program is an integral part of academic life here at Hillsdale for about half of the students. They have the chance to pursue what they love and to learn with some of the best musicians in the business—an opportunity too good to pass up.
Katie Scheu and Sarah Schutte know this best, as they have been deeply involved in music since the beginning of their college careers while also juggling academic life.
“I think being involved in music as well as academics is the extension of a liberal education into a liberal arts life,” Katie said. “The liberal arts is all about pulling out those crosshairs and finding that certain lessons and truths cross paths.”
Katie and Sarah are both phenomenal sopranos, and they are phenomenal journalists as well. Katie is the associate editor and graphic designer for Hillsdale’s college newspaper, The Collegian, and Sarah is a radio talk show host for the shows “Professor Perspective” and “What, What Happened?” on Hillsdale College’s radio station.
In addition to her work for The Collegian, Katie does graphic design for external affairs and serves as the house director for the women’s dormitory Mauck. Sarah is the head RA for the women’s dorm The Dow House as well as the music librarian for the choir and music director for Sigma Alpha Iota, one of Hillsdale’s music fraternities.
“I knew I wanted to study music at Hillsdale, but I came because I also knew I wanted to pursue my other interests,” Sarah explained. “At a music conservatory, music would have been the only thing I could do; it would’ve been my whole life. Here, though, I can do so many other things I am passionate about.”
The passion that these women put into their academic and extracurricular lives translates to their dedication to their music studies. Their dedication paid off when they were selected among many competitors of the annual Concerto Competition to perform opera at the Hillsdale Orchestra spring concerts, a highly prestigious honor within the Hillsdale music department.
“It was such a cool experience just to audition in front of such talented musicians,” Katie said. “I’m the kind of person who feeds off challenge, and I get really excited to have the opportunity to do something which is, at its core, so incredibly beautiful.”
Beauty is what makes the liberal arts what it is: the pursuit of finding the inherent goodness and beauty in all that we study, whether in journalism interviews or in musical performances. We integrate that beauty into every area of our academics and in our lives after we graduate.
“Music touches so many areas of our lives,” Sarah said. “It teaches us about love, pain, and tragedy. It bridges gaps between cultures, and it helps to connect people of different background. The beauty we find in it helps us to bring together all the beauty that we find in all the higher things that we discover in our classes.”
Giannina Imperial, ’18, is a psychology major and biology minor from Jackson, MI. If she isn’t in the Psychology Suite running research participants or in AJ’s immersed in her biology textbooks, you’ll find her in the music hall for one of the dozen rehearsals she’ll have that day. She loves God, neuroscience, dancing like no one’s watching, getting ice cream with friends, and trying out every Filipino recipe in her mother’s arsenal of cookbooks.