Macalester women’s soccer team members pursue far more than soccer and their studies while they’re at college. Their extracurricular activities range from editing The Mac Weekly to volunteering at local nonprofits.
However, lately a major theme among those interests appears to be music. We asked four of those soccer-playing music lovers—Danielle Scott ’14, Maggie Molter ’14, Emma Brainerd ’14 and Clare MacMillen ’13—to share their experiences with us.
What are you currently doing related to music?
DS: I’m singing in Highland Camerata. It’s a mixed choir that’s open to anyone at Macalester. We rehearse twice a week and perform music of many different genres. Last semester I was also part of Chamber Women’s Ensemble, a group of selected women from Highland Camerata who sing during the fall semester.
MM: As a music minor, I play trumpet in the Macalester Orchestra and the MacJazz big band and take private classical trumpet lessons through the Music Department. I also play in a rock band with a few other musically inclined underclassmen, and we’re working on setting up our first real gig.
EB: I’m in a band with five other Mac students. I play piano and write songs.
CM: I play the cello in the Macalester Orchestra. And sometimes I play with the musical duo also known as Maggie Molter and Emma Brainerd.
Why do you love music?
DS: Because you can express yourself through music. It’s also a huge stress reliever for me—something that’s definitely necessary in college.
MM: I’ll paraphrase one of my favorite teachers from high school: It’s important to enjoy music on two different levels—in a childish way and in a more critical and analytical way. In my own playing and with the artists I listen to, I try to find music that can be enjoyed on both levels.
EB: Music is the ultimate emotional release for me. I love listening, playing, creating—anything that has to do with music. It’s my favorite form of expression.
CM: As Macalester students, our days are filled with words. We talk, read, write and then talk and read and write some more. Music is a reprieve from what can become an overwhelming environment of analysis and discussion. Music is a platform for self-expression and reflection that conveys emotions too complicated for words. Whether I’m playing by myself or in a large ensemble, I love the adrenaline rush of hitting the final note of a long run and the welling of emotion that comes from making truly beautiful music.
Why did you pick Macalester?
DS: I wanted a school small enough so that I could participate in both music and soccer. At small schools like Mac, coaches and directors are willing to work with you so that you can be involved in everything you want to do. At a big school I might not have been able to do both.
MM: In high school, my life basically consisted of academics, soccer, and music. I wanted to pursue all three in college as well, and Mac was the only place I could do that. The flexible academic scheduling makes it possible to fit in a music minor with my other academic interests. And because the soccer commitment here is mostly self-directed in the off-season, I can participate in large ensembles spring semester. Fitting individual practice, ensemble rehearsal, band practice, weightlifting, pick-up indoor soccer, classes, meals, and homework into one day is definitely an exercise in time management, but I love every minute of it.
EB: Macalester has a very musical population. There isn’t one specific music community; anyone can choose to participate. I had no problem finding people here capable and willing to play music together. Since Macalester sports are Division III, I have time to explore interests outside of soccer.
CM: I always assumed that going to college would force me to narrow my interests and involvement. Instead I get to be a student-musician-athlete. I love soccer, I love orchestra, but above all, I love Mac!