Grace Usleman, incoming music student from Austin, Texas, had a slightly different experience surrounding her freshman orientation than most. After coming to Nashville for Towering Traditions and class registration, Usleman had the opportunity to guest conduct the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Brent Havens, composer and conductor of “The Music of Queen,” went to high school and played music in Cincinnati, Ohio with Grace’s father, Kevin Usleman. Havens heard about Grace committing to Belmont’s School of Music and offered to have her shadow him for the “Music of Queen” concert at Ascend Amphitheater on June 22. The family scheduled her freshman orientation session for the corresponding week of the show.
Usleman had the opportunity to meet the leaders and performers of the Nashville Symphony, understand the logistics of executing an impressive event, explore the details of sound checks and more. She was also asked to be the guest conductor with the Symphony Orchestra on the song “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and then joined Havens and the band to get the audience of over 5,000 people energized while singing along with “We Will Rock You.”
Sandra Usleman, Grace’s mother, said, “This experience was an incredible way to wrap up her Belmont University orientation experience and an impressive way to be welcomed to her new ‘home’ in Nashville. Grace was very involved with the music department at her high school, St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, as student president of the music department. This experience took that to a VERY different level!”