Esther Seitz Prefers the Mellow Cello
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Where is UMKC taking you?
To a career in a professional orchestra. UMKC has a great program at the Conservatory.
How has college inspired you?
College, specifically the Conservatory, has inspired me by surrounding me with so many talented students and professional musicians to learn from. It has been an amazing journey so far, filled with many wonderful new experiences and opportunities.
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
Since entering college, I have learned that the limits I thought I had coming in were simply boundaries waiting to be explored and crossed. It is a great feeling to push myself daily and accomplish new things on my instrument and in my other studies.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
Talent is good but eventually hard work surpasses talent.
Who do you admire most at UMKC and why?
Here at UMKC, I most admire my cello professor Carter Enyeart. Since I started taking private lessons with him in high school (in Topeka), my cello playing has improved by leaps and bounds. I greatly admire his teachings, wisdom and the way he pushes me. I couldn’t have gotten to this point without him, and I am excited to continue learning.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is losing sight of my intense love for music amidst the craziness of earning a performance degree. It’s always helpful to me to listen to or play my favorite pieces when things get stressful; it reminds me why I love music and why I’m pursuing it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in cello performance, teaching private students, playing gigs and hopefully performing with a professional orchestra or chamber ensemble. Currently, I also play guitar, sing and lead worship, and I would love to be part of a large church. That would be amazing.
What motto do you live by?
Live as if someone is watching because someone always is.
What got you interested in performance?
I’ve been playing cello since I was 8. Funny story: I initially played the violin and my little brother played the cello. The violin seemed a little shrill to me. But I loved the deep, mellow tone of the cello — its tone is the closest to the human voice — and I love how the cello feels under my fingers. As a sophomore, I played All-State High School Orchestra and it was an amazing experience.
What excites you?
Finally being able to master a new technique, and the thunderous finish of a big-band orchestra piece.
How do you deal with performance anxiety?
I get nervous still but I have the mindset that it’s good to be nervous. It means you care about it.
What is one word that best describes you?
Persistent. When I set a goal for myself or someone else gives me a task, I will work hard and do my best to complete it. I make it a point to never give up, even when my studies frustrate me. I just remind myself that if it were all easy, I wouldn’t be learning anything.