Hometown: Waterbury, Connecticut
Major: Music and Audio Production
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Music in Audio and Music Production
Activities: Jazz Club, Honors Program, teaching piano at Southbury Music Studio, keyboardist in a funk/fusion band called The Recess Bureau (featuring other WestConn graduates), pianist at a church in Waterbury where she leads a once-a-month jazz service
internships: Internship with Stamford-based audio engineer Greg Tobler
Honors and Awards: Full-tuition Merit Scholarship (Fall 2013-present), Dean's List (Fall 2013-present)
Waterbury resident Rosemary Winkler knew she would be studying music somewhere after high school, the only question was, where? "WestConn was not my top school choice, initally," she says. "However, I did a music department shadow day my senior year of high school and really pictured myself at the school. I felt like I related to all the students really well and the professors seemed invested in their students. The price of the school was also very appealing since the program is so great at such a low cost."
Having made the decision, Minkler took several music courses during her senior year in high school at Naugatuck Valley Community College. "This experience taught me a lot and helped in my transition to college," she says.
Students, like Minkler, who are enrolled in Western's Audio and Music Production program, must study an instrument for two years before continuing on to the audio production studies. "My concentration is in jazz piano and I've been happy to be an honorary member of the jazz department by participating in jazz combos and big bands every semester and acting as the Jazz Club president for the 2016-17 academic year," Minkler says. "I've always loved music and playing piano, but was also interested in the music business/production aspect. This program gave me the best of both worlds."
Since the music department at WestConn is relatively small, Minkler says she's been able to interact with all the professors, "and they've each given me some piece of insight. In particular, the faculty that I've had private lessons with have certainly shaped me and acted as mentors."
Because of Western's proximity to the New York metropolitan area, Minkler found another mentor in Stamford-based audio engineer Greg Tobler, who "has done just about every different kind of audio work possible — studio work, installations, live sound, location sound, audio post for video, sound design, and more. Working with him has been the best learning experience and he has given me so many opportunities that you would not get at other internships. I continue to work with him every so often and I was even lucky enough to go with him in January to the National Association of Music Merchants convention in Anaheim, California. Together, we worked on a reboot of a children's TV show called 'Wonderama,' which was filmed in New York City over the summer. This gave me a taste of the TV world, as well as living in NYC."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Minkler says, "It happened during the spring semester of my sophomore year. Jazz Club always sponsors the WCSU Jazz Fest. That year, one of the guest artists was Kenny Barron, a phenomenal jazz pianist. I was lucky enough to hang out with him one-on-one for an hour or so in between events. It was a surreal experience that I will never forget."
After graduation, Minkler plans to move to New York City. "I hope to continue doing audio work with Greg Tobler and possibly find a recording studio to work at," she says. "I also plan on making lots of music!"
Minkler’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Cherish every relationship you make at WestConn, both with students as well as with professors. Unlike high school, the people you meet in college will most likely be your colleagues for life and that is super exciting."