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As a child of Nigerian immigrants, I have always been held to high expectations. My parents worked hard to move to America and became medical professionals. Likewise, they expected me to go into one of three professions: medicine, law, or engineering; and for years, I was expecting to go into one of those careers, but by my third year in my high school’s band, I knew that music was the field I truly wanted to be apart of. Initially, my parents met me with resistance, saying I would never make it as a musician or an educator, but eventually, they came to understand and believe in my dream.
 

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I have been playing the clarinet for six years now, mainly playing classical and contemporary wind band pieces with large and small ensembles; I have also been in jazz ensembles and have performed solo acts. Additionally, I have been apart of my high school’s marching band throughout my entire high school career, and I learned how to conduct once I became involved enough in band leadership to become a drum major by my senior year.

Academically, I have always been hard-working. I have been taking Pre-AP, AP, and dual credit courses throughout my high school years, and I have always strived to do my best in those courses. Likewise, I show the same work ethic towards my musicianship, and I plan to continue working hard in college. My academic goals are to graduate with a double major degree in music education and clarinet performance, get my master’s degree in clarinet performance, and eventually get a Doctor of Musical Arts in clarinet performance. My career goals are to perform with chamber groups, wind bands, and symphony orchestras, and I would also like to become a clarinet professor at a university.

Music means discipline. Being a musician has reinforced my strong work ethic through the countless hours I have poured into practicing my instrument and my conducting. It is a commitment in which you often do not feel the gratification of your work until your performance, and you might go months without having one. It takes an incredible amount of discipline to continue practicing despite the end being so far away; but when you stay committed and reach the "big day," all of the work you put in pays off monumentally. It is delayed gratification at its finest.

Moreover, music means friendship. My best friend, Agustin, is a bandmate that I have been friends with for the past five years. This school year, he and I led the band as co-drum majors together; we are also going to the same university to study in the same field—it has been a phenomenal year with him. The friendships I have with him and the other people I have