Emily Derby, '18
Region for summer 2017: Greater Portland, Ore.
Hometown, state: Clackamas, Ore.
Major(s), minor(s): music education major (choral track)
Whitworth activities/clubs: campus worship (Hosanna team), chapel attendee, Whitworth Choir
Most influential class or professor and why: The most influential part of my Whitworth education is the Whitworth Choir. Because choral music is my major and the Whitworth Choir meets every day, it occupies a lot of my time and mental, physical and emotional energy. My relationships with our director, Marc Hafsø, our accompanist, Mary Trotter, and my fellow choir members (especially the soprano section) have been more crucial to my personal and professional growth this year than any other musical experience I have had yet. I look forward to finishing my time in the choir with our Spain tour in May!
What Whitworth means to me: Whitworth is a community based on the pursuit of personal, professional and spiritual growth through academic and extracurricular activities designed to foster fellowship in every area of life.
My favorite experience as a Whitworthian (so far): Last Jan Term I went on Dr. Ben Brody’s Arts in Christian Worship in Europe trip, and it changed my life in ways I am still discovering! I uncovered passions for church history, church music (especially hymns), English music, and music history. It also confirmed my love of travel and gave me the confidence to pursue international travel on my own. Perhaps most important, it helped me form relationships with Ben and with peers who have become an integral part of my Whitworth experience.
What I hope to do after I graduate: Go on to graduate studies in music (although I do not yet know where or in what area of music) and eventually teach high school choir in a public school.
Why I’m excited about being a part of the Alumni Discovery Project this year: This year, I am excited to improve on skills I gained last summer in order to continue providing alumni with better interview experiences. I am ready to form more relationships with alumni, and I’m glad to have left my other summer job in favor of spending my whole summer on Discovery.
My favorite aspect of being a part of Discovery last summer: Hearing stories from Whitworth alumni who were eager to share their experiences. Their stories have since colored my view of Whitworth, deepening and broadening my understanding of its impact on my present and future, personally and professionally. I returned this school year with a renewed appreciation for Whitworth as a result of last year’s interviews, and I look forward to doing so again!