At This School, the Students Live Entirely for Music

In student housing, Demiray was quickly making new friends. She was closest with her roommate, a horn player. They would gather on staircases at Lenfest with other students to sing choral music for fun. After attending a party during her first week, she joined a group to organize one of her own, a masquerade for the holidays.

During the semester, she also finished a string quartet that she had started on the flight from Turkey. As she rehearsed it, she realized how open she was to her music changing in the hands of others; it was the kind of lesson that can’t really be taught in the classroom. “It reminded me,” she said, “that everything we have in music is a matter of perspective.”

FEW CURTIS STUDENTS truly take time off during the month between semesters. Demiray, back in Ankara, read Kant and watched movies, but also continued to compose. Gleason, getting an early start on spring work, took on a conducting project at Dallas Opera. Cheung, at least, made room for catching up with friends and family in Seattle, and skiing.

Scott had a difficult time winding down from the fall semester, which he found excitingly intense; life at home, he said, was like “a vacuum.” At first, he didn’t sleep well because he felt as though he should be doing something. After a few days, he felt himself relax as he took his dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback called Nandi, for long walks.

Tacchino went home to France, but as a resident coordinator, had to return early to prepare Lenfest for the spring semester. She had also picked up a tour in Florida, where she had never been. She saw more alligators than she would have liked, and it was unpleasantly hot, but she felt refreshed when she got back to school for more auditions and a starring role in Poulenc’s one-act opera “Les Mamelles de Tirésias.”

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