Nina Murray ’09. Baker, Pianist, Flutist. My education in music has woven into my life after Wheaton in a rather non-linear way. Immediately after graduation I worked as a music librarian and orchestra manager for the Bowdoin International Music Festival. In the most literal sense, this position utilized both my degree and my work experience at Wheaton to the fullest. I found, though, that what I enjoyed most about this job was not the actual 9-5 work, but rather listening to the incredible concerts that my work helped to facilitate. I realized that what had drawn me to study music in the first place was the creative involvement and fulfillment, and that I was not going to nourish this need through a desk job, no matter how outwardly it related to music.
I went off in pursuit of fulfilling this need for actual creative–rather than peripheral–involvement in the arts. This first took me to Vermont where I worked at a pottery studio, and volunteered briefly for the Yellow Barn Music Festival. Then the adventurous impulse kicked in and I spent some time in Hawaii working on a farm. I finally happened upon my true source of occupational and personal happiness when I landed a job as a baker back on the east coast. I am now beginning my second year as a baker, and am moving steadily into the world of bread making as I begin a new job and write a weekly bread blog. I hope within the next two years to open my own artisan bread bakery in midcoast Maine.
While my current path in life doesn’t seem to outwardly relate to my studies at Wheaton, I find that I draw upon my education now more than I ever did at my more obviously music-related jobs. Not only did my studies nurture the seed of creativity that ultimately led me into the kitchen, rather than onto the stage, but they also gave me a set of tools that I avail myself of every day as I study, practice, and write about my craft. My involvement in music has always been very personal and private, and I continue to enjoy music on these terms both at the symphony, and at home as I plunk away on my new Korg keyboard and get together to play flute duets with my old teacher. I feel that my happy days in the music department were the best possible preparation for the life I am living and enjoying right now.