In the third instalment of Student Stories, Kaitlan Brazeau interviews Sam Robinson, a 4th year Bachelor of Music student in Carleton’s Music program. From Newmarket Ontario, Sam grew up performing in a local theatre company, where she discovered a love of both musical theatre and classical singing. After graduating in 2021, Sam plans to take steps to pursue a career in performance.

Sam Robinson, 4th Bachelor of Music Student (Classical Voice)

How did you decide to begin a Music degree at Carleton University?

My singing teacher back home (Newmarket, Ontario) recommended the program to me, and after researching about it and touring the campus, I knew that I HAD to come here! On the day of my audition, I remember sitting in the hallway of Loeb 9 with my accompanist, Joanne (who I still frequently collaborate with) and as people passed by, they stopped to say hi to her and ask her how she was doing. Then I looked over into studio A and saw Professor Kathy Armstrong start a rhythm on a hand drum, and other students were smiling, and taking off their shoes to start dancing. Just from seeing all of that, I felt the vibe of the Carleton Music department, and I knew that I had to be apart of it. I could tell that it was unique, and special, and I am so glad I went with my instinct to go to Carleton!

What made you choose Carleton out of the schools you were accepted to?

I really loved the city of Ottawa, and I wanted a program that was small and community oriented. At Carleton Music, we are a family, and that is exactly what I was looking for. I also loved that the program encouraged diversity, as there were so many different genres and studies of music that I never even knew about! I was a little nervous about moving so far away from home, but I knew that being in such an incredible city would be a great opportunity for me. I was ready to start fresh in a new chapter in my life.

What are your favourite parts of the program?

My favourite parts of the program are the diversity, and the students/faculty. I love that students are free to explore all genres of music. I’ve turned into a classical vocalist who also loves musical theatre, and West African Rhythm! The students and faculty at Carleton Music are honestly the best. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and I always know that there are people I can turn to when I’m having trouble. It’s nice to know that I have great friends that I can depend on when times are tough, and excellent teachers who are cheering for me, and all of their students to succeed!

What is your most memorable experience at Carleton during your degree?

My most memorable experience at Carleton is when CMSS ran a holiday party for the department when I was in 3rdyear! I have been apart of the Carleton Music Student Society since the end of my 1styear, and I have to say that this was one of the most fun, and successful events that we have ever run. We decorated cookies, had a potluck, played games and sang holiday songs. It was nice to just enjoy each other’s company away from the stress of exams!

What are your future plans?

I’m currently in the midst of planning my wedding for after I graduate in the spring! After that, I’m planning on pursuing a Masters in Opera Performance and then, hopefully, a career in performance! At some point later down the road, I would really love to teach music, whether it’s done privately or in the public-school system. I would really love to help young people to find, and develop their passion for music, like so many teachers have done for me over the years!