Salute to Nathalie

Nathalie, SJMA’s first ever graduate into university, was recently asked about her experience as a student of music at SJMA.

The Saint James Music Academy has been around since 2007, and I am glad to admit that I have been a part of it from the start. Fast forward to five years later – graduation from high school also meant leaving St James, as a student, youth mentor, and volunteer. University was looming ahead of me as I performed for the last time in the chapel of St James’ Anglican Church on Friday, June 7, 2013. At the end of the recital, unbeknownst to me before hand, I received a surprise scholarship that could use towards my books and tuition in the fall. Even now I am still extremely grateful to the academy for all of their support and what they have done for me to get me where I am today.

The transition to university hasn’t been smooth sailing, but it hasn’t been a hurricane either. I learned how to prioritize and manage my time in high school when I was volunteering at other places and focusing on piano and theatre on top of coming to St James Music Academy several days a week. They supported me in my musical and personal growth; my mind was more open to the community and being in tune with it, and my contribution to the community through music and the academy was recognized by several other external awards towards my post secondary education. Music opens doors. And the doors of Saint James were always open.

I feel that the constant presence of music in my life has helped me stay grounded and in tune with my family, community, and self. Even though I am too busy these days to come by St James, I still keep up with the events and updates, marveling vicariously at their progress and ever growing list of new endeavors – for instance recently performing at WeDay.

When it all comes down to it, I would not be where I am today without the Saint James Music Academy – my experience with the academy and the people that run it have only ever been pleasant, and I am blessed to have had known and been a part of it.