9 Questions for Liza Markay Saracina
Liza Saracina, from Louisville, Ohio, is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Oboe at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is a Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar, selected with seven other undergraduate Jacobs Scholars to enter the Jacobs School in fall 2009. During the summer of 2012, Saracina is participating in the Jacobs School’s Summer Music series, a part of IU’s second annual Summer Festival of the Arts.
1. What do you like most about being a Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar?
All of the opportunities it has given me! I wouldn’t have come to the Jacobs School of Music without this amazing scholarship. It made my biggest dream come true!
2. What is your favorite thing about Bloomington?
I love the atmosphere. It’s a small town with endless opportunities. There is always something to do, a new restaurant to try, but you don’t feel swallowed in the crowd of a big city. It’s a place where almost anyone can feel at home.
3. What is the best college experience you have had so far?
Goodness! How can I pick? I’ll list some of my favorites. I love playing in the pit orchestra for the operas that the Jacobs School of Music performs. Some of the most memorable ones I have performed in are The Magic Flute and La Boheme. Playing concerts under amazing conductors including Maestro David Effron and Maestro Arthur Fagen are always so inspirational. And, this summer I am playing in Festival Orchestra which is a totally different and very rewarding experience. I am able to play under very successful and talented oboe professionals. I am learning so much from them!
4. What drew you to specialize in playing woodwinds/the oboe?
That is a funny story. When I was in 5th grade, I was interested in music but I didn’t know what instrument to pick. I wanted something unique and different, so I chose the instrument that I had never heard of before: the oboe! After I started learning it, I knew I could never major in something else, because I could never love something as much as I love the oboe.
5. What’s playing on your iPod right now?
A mix of techno, pop, Late-Romantic, and Baroque music.
6. Tell us about your favorite class or teacher.
My favorite teacher in my whole life is absolutely (Assistant Professor) Blair Johnston, who teaches music theory at the Jacobs School of Music. He has a love and passion for both music and his students that is so inspirational. I couldn’t help but get so excited because he was so excited himself!
7. Tell us about your family.
My mother has been a stay at home mom, taking care of me and my older sister, while my father travels as a Family Guidance Counselor for HeadStart. He is of Italian heritage, and I recently enjoyed learning the family “sauce” recipe. Neither of them are trained musicians, but music and the arts were an important part of my childhood.
8. What is your advice to students interested in the IU Jacobs School of Music?
If you are interested in this school, work hard, practice, audition, and don’t give up! This place is so wonderful with so many opportunities! It’s also great if you can come to the campus before your audition and have a lesson with the teacher that interests you. You can see if you feel like you will work well together, and the teacher can get to know you more.
9. What is an interesting fact about you that most people would find surprising or unexpected?
One of my favorite hobbies is tap dancing! Whenever I hear jazz or pop music, I’m usually tap dancing inside my head.