Belmont alumnus and Lila D. Bunch staff member RJ McDowell, who graduated in 2019 with his Master’s of Music in Viola Performance, was recently accepted into the inaugural class of The Tianjin Juilliard School. McDowell will be getting another Master’s degree in Orchestral Studies.
“Getting into a program like this is inspiring to say the least,” McDowell commented. “Throughout the admissions process I got to work with some of the Tianjin Juilliard faculty on some of the music I had been playing and it got me excited to be a part of their community. I know they will help me develop and refine my musicianship.”
The program is one of the most comprehensive and selective of its kind in Asia and will train musicians at the highest level for careers as members of symphonies and other large ensembles of that kind. Major study revolves around participation in the Tianjin Juilliard Orchestra and through private lessons and coachings from world renowned faculty-in-residence who will play side-by-side on occasion with their students in orchestra. Course work is centered around the development of orchestral repertoire throughout history.
“I would like to thank my viola teacher Ms. Sarah Cote, for sending me the link about this program back in early January. I would not have even thought about applying to a program like this without her encouragement,” said McDowell. “She and her husband, Daniel Reinker, were really helpful throughout the application and audition process.”
McDowell hopes to travel to China as early as October of 2020 to start this next chapter of his career.