NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

Music Huskie Spotlight

Huskie Spotlight: Abigail Stoner, Performer’s Certificate, ’22

Abigail Stoner

What did you want to be when you were growing up?  I wanted to be a zookeeper, the President of the United States, a ballerina, and a musician. Clearly, I could not do all of those things, but I did end up becoming a musician!

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study? Performer’s Certificate in Harp Performance. It was the next natural step in my education after receiving my bachelors in Harp Performance and masters in Harp Performance. The PC will give me more time to develop my playing, performing, and researching skills.

What is your favorite thing about studying and/or playing music at NIU?  The camaraderie with my fellow musicians, and the emotional outlet that music offers.

How have you connected with other students at NIU? I play in a flute, viola, and harp trio named “The Plastics” as well as the NIU Mariachi Ensemble. All of my ensemble members are incredible musicians and amazing people. Being able to make great music with great people is one of the reasons I love this program so much.

Why did you choose NIU to study music? I really wanted to study with the faculty in the School of Music, particularly my harp teacher Professor Faye Seeman.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course do they teach? Of course I must mention my harp professor, Ms. Seeman. She is amazing and genuinely cares for her students. The knowledge she has passed on to me has made me a better musician, and has equipped me to become a successful professional musician. I have also really enjoyed studying with Dr. Brian Hart who teaches various music history courses. He is very knowledgeable and truly passionate about musicology. He also takes the time to get to know his students and be a part of their time at NIU.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it? The harp studio! It is where I spend most of my time on campus, practicing at various times of the day (or evening). My studio has provided me a distraction free spot where I can become a master of my art.

What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges? Have an open mind. The place that you will fit in the most may not be the place you had in mind! Always visit the campus if you can, and reach out to the faculty members directly to introduce yourself. And remember that opportunities don’t just fall into your lap most of time – you have to go out there and create them yourself!

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently? Time management! It’s okay to say “no” to something if you don’t have the time for it. Be picky about what you involve yourself in so that you can give 100% to your tasks.

What do you do to relax or recharge? Ride my horse or read a good book (or scholarly article)!

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