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What is music? Jessica Wise defines her passion

Jess Wise performing in ONU's Symphony Orchestra (Photo/Jessica Wise)

What is music? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary “music is the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationship to produce a composition having unity and continuity”.

This definition only addresses the science behind the music, and most of us don’t consider the science when we are walking to class listening to our IPod.  At Ohio Northern University we are among a select group of students who dedicate their time and studies to create those combination of sounds.

As a third grader, Jessica Wise sat in front of her High School’s Orchestra as they played Pirates of the Caribbean. That was 13 years ago.  There, Wise fell in love with the sound of a flute. “I remember hearing the flute solo and decided right then that I wanted to play that instrument.”

Today, Jessica Wise is a senior, majoring in Musical Performance, preparing for her graduate school auditions.  She takes time now to reflect back on what made her choose to pursue a career in music; “I decided to pursue a degree in music because I had a dream. I had a dream of living my life differently; happy with my career. I wanted to pursue something that would make my workday enjoyable and satisfying. Music is a huge part of my life, and always has been.  I pursued a degree in music because I had a drive and passion for it and could not imagine my life without it.”

Everyday Jessica Wise works to make her college career successful. At Ohio Northern University Wise has participated in Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Pit Orchestra. She has also played in several Ensembles and Chamber Groups including Flute Choir, Opera Workshop, and Jazz Band. Participating in all of these groups has exposed her to different types of music, and music organizations.  Today her favorite is the Symphony Orchestra.  When asked, Jessica responds that the Symphony is her favorite “because I get to do the two things that I love most in the world:  Conduct and play my flute.”

Playing an instrument for the past four years may seem like a different path in college, but to Jessica Wise she wouldn’t change a thing; “I have learned a lot being in these ensembles, not just furthering myself in music, but personally as well.  It has helped me develop my professionalism and my leadership skills.  Being Principle Chair and Assistant Conductor has pushed me to become a better leader”. This course of study has also developed in her a certain discipline by “being prepared to come to rehearsal and play the music to the best of my ability”. When asked about the grueling rehearsals her only answer:  “Going to rehearsal every day always puts a smile on my face. It is always the brightest part of my day.”