Video Credit: Yarden Ben-David
I've lived in Tallahassee for the better part of twelve years before pursuing my doctoral degree. While in town, I have built great relationships with the faculty at FSU and FAMU and collaborated with high school band directors all across Leon and Gadsden counties by working with their students. As a former band director in Leon County Public Schools, it paid great dividends to maintain my connections within the community while pursuing my terminal degree.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
I aspired to pursue a doctoral degree even as an undergraduate. As a first-generation Haitian-American from Miami, Florida, I grew up with little to nothing; I wanted the opportunity to open up doors for my family and those who come from the same background as me.
Importance of research and work
My treatise is based on a highly regarded pedagogue and performer in the music education/performance sphere. Dr. Nathaniel O. Brickens has had a remarkable career that spans almost forty years, and his influence can be traced back to his students who have taken his philosophy and applied it to their teaching to receive the same positive outcome with their programs. The document goes in-depth by interviewing the subject, his former major professor, and a select number of his former students to corroborate his positive influence in the profession.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
It is often said, "The hardest step to take is usually the first one." I believe once we take that leap of faith in pursuing what we want for our lives, the only thing that can stop you is 'you.' While there will be trials on this journey, it is definitely worth it when it is all said and done.
Accomplishments during your graduate career
I can truly say that my best professional years (thus far) took place while I was pursuing my doctorate degree. I've had the opportunity to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and present a session to music educators and performers at The Midwest Clinic: International Band and Orchestra Clinic Conference, which averages about 17,000 people from all fifty states and as many as forty countries. I've also been fortunate to be endorsed as a performing artist for Conn-Selmer, which is one of the major instrument brands in the business and have a signature trombone mouthpiece with Giddings Mouthpieces. Probably the greatest of all my accomplishments to date was the birth of my daughter in the middle of my doctoral studies. Her name is Caydence Roselyn Imani Mirvil.
Alumni (Where are you now?)
I'm currently in my second year of teaching at Southeastern University, where I am the assistant professor of low brass. I also lead the jazz and brass ensemble at the university and teach a select number of courses. I have provided a number of recitals, masterclasses, and clinics within the southeastern region. I am scheduled to present a clinic at the state music educator's conference (FMEA Conference) in January, and I will have my second line of mouthpieces debuted and sold world-wide in December of this year.