Donors help dream become a reality

When Taylor Fleshman decided to start playing the harp at age 7 – and her dad purchased her first harp on eBay – she never expected to play with orchestras on three continents and attend a world-class conservatory of music.

Taylor Fleshman playing harp-verticalBut thanks to her drive to be the best – and the contributions of donors who helped bring her to UC – she’s realizing a dream that’s been more than a decade in the making.

“I actually didn’t have UC on my list of potential colleges at first, but CCM’s reputation was enough to bring me in for a visit. Once I came here I fell in love with the campus and realized a strong connection with my current professor and mentor, Gillian Benet Sella.”

“After the visit went so well, I decided to apply. I was absolutely thrilled when I found out I had gotten in – it was one of the best days of my life.”

As an out-of-state student, Taylor knew it would be difficult to finance her education. That’s why she was even more excited to learn she had been awarded a scholarship to pursue her dreams.

Like most students at CCM, performances and practice come first – usually taking up most of the day and  four or five hours outside of class. Taylor works at the CCM box office and performs at weddings to help cover some of the costs of her education, but counts on the scholarship to keep her in the studio as much as possible.

“It’s a rigorous program, but it’s so worth it to me because I want to be the best. That’s what keeps me going when my fingers get sore, or I spend six hours practicing while everyone else is enjoying their weekend or going out. I remind myself it will pay off down the road.”

With her first year nearly complete, Taylor is looking forward to traveling in the coming months to play with a world-renowned orchestra in Europe. But no matter where she goes, she’s glad to have found a home at CCM.

“I’ve lived and performed in many places – Canada, North Carolina, England and Australia to name a few. But I feel so incredibly fortunate to have mentors, friends, and opportunities that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.”

“I want to thank all of my professors and teachers for working so hard to help me succeed, and putting in extra time. And I especially want to thank the donors to UC for their inspirational generosity.”

Whether you give to scholarships, or a college, or something you have a passion for, you are investing in something important. Thank you for investing in students like me and for making UC such a special place.”