Spotlight : Jessica Munch-Dittmar
What year did you graduate from USC Aiken?
Fall of 2010
What was your instrument (piano, wind instrument, voice) and what music activities did you participate in at USC Aiken?
My primary instrument was Euphonium. I participated in the Concert Band, Basketball Band, The Aiken Community Band, Percussion Ensemble, performed on Trumpet with the Jazz Band as well as participated in my private lesson courses and a variety of piano classes.
What extra activities were you involved in?
I was involved in the collegiate chapter of the
Why did you choose USC Aiken?
I transferred to USC Aiken from a much larger university because of the affordability.
Why should someone consider attending USC Aiken for music?
USC Aiken offers a music department that is quaint. Class sizes are small which allows for much more individual attention and faculty support in a major which requires a demanding amount of dedication and time.
What is your occupation now?
I am the Education and Community Engagement Director for the Winston-Salem Symphony in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as well as a working musician performing with The Piedmont Wind Symphony and several other ensembles throughout the community.
Explain what responsibilities you have in your job.
In my position at the Winston-Salem Symphony I am responsible for the development, organization, implementation, administration, promotion, and ongoing evaluation of music education and community engagement programs/initiatives that serve youth through retirees across the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. I work very closely with the local school district officials, county representatives and hundreds of music educators at all levels in supporting their work in the classroom and acting as an advocate for music and arts education throughout the state.
Is there anything else you would like include?
A little more background about my time since USC Aiken:
My path into music education has been very untraditional. When I first graduated from USC Aiken, I moved to Savannah, GA to pursue a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I began my own private and online teaching studio. From there I began my first teaching job through Mrs. G’s Music Foundation, an organization which provides music teachers to schools without music teachers. After 6 months of teaching, I had made a connection with the Salvation Army. I quickly learned that The Salvation Army offered many arts programs to the homeless and underserved of the Savannah community and I soon picked up a position as their Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator. For three years I worked fulltime as a music teacher, part time with The Salvation Army and maintained my private studio all while completing my masters degree program. When it came time for me to graduate, I applied to many positions all over the world which matched both my background in music education and administration. This is when I secured a leadership position with the Winston-Salem Symphony where I am today.