Chloe Stewart is Getting What She Wants
The scene: Soaring video screens show the legendary Rolling Stones fronted by a strutting, teen-like 71-year-old Mick Jagger the night of June 27 at a sold-out Arrowhead Stadium. Jagger announces the UMKC Conservatory will be accompanying him to sing one of the most recognizable songs of all time, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Chloe Stewart is among the 12 UMKC students, larger than life, on the screens.
How did it feel to perform with the Rolling Stones?
It was probably the best 30 seconds of my life. The energy was at an insane level, all of the lights flashing from cell phone pictures. It is such a popular song that you grow up hearing on TV and the radio. When the opportunity was presented to us at UMKC, I was like “What? We’re doing what?”
Did you get to meet the Rolling Stones?
Quickly. We practiced early the day of the concert in a sound check.
How did this come about?
UMKC was given the opportunity. We had to keep it confidential, not tell anyone that we were doing this. It was a big secret.
Where is UMKC taking you?
To perform at Rolling Stones concerts! In the long haul, to be a middle school music teacher. The kids at that age are fun, boys’ and girls’ voices are changing. I want to help students with that transition time of 7th and 8th grade.
How did you choose UMKC?
I came here for the Conservatory and Dr. Aidan Soder. A high school friend in piano and voice told me about it — I’m from Shawnee, Kansas. I like that UMKC is a big university that’s in a big city but that the Conservatory is small.
How has college inspired you?
Being a part of the Conservatory has inspired me to be more open-minded. I have been exposed to so many new types of music, ideas and people. Even if something might seem a little strange at first — like 12-tone music — you should give it a chance and try to better understand it instead of writing it off. Who knows? You may even grow to enjoy it!
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that it is OK to not have everything figured out right now. There are many unknowns that lie ahead and I cannot control everything. Learning to accept that fact and let life happen, rather than worrying about all the little things has been a huge lesson that I’m still learning — and probably will be forever.
What the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
A general theme in many of my voice lessons is to get out of my own head. It’s easy to fall into the habit of having technique tunnel vision. My teacher, Dr. Soder, helps me to see the bigger picture and to just get out of my own way.
Who do you admire most at UMKC?
I admire all of my professors, especially Dr. Soder and Dr. Charles Robinson and all of the graduate students who serve as teaching assistants and conductors in my classes and ensembles. They invest in the students here and I feel that they truly care about our success.
What motto do you live by?
Be yourself. That’ll take you a long way.
What’s your favorite place at UMKC?
The Student Union. You can see the whole city from the rooftop. It’s such a cool view.
Are you a first-generation college student?
I’m not. However, I am the first to major in music. Even if my parents don’t always know what I’m talking about, they are endlessly supportive and know to just smile and nod.
What is one word that best describes you?
Spirited. I’m passionate about the things that I love!