Weekend Wisdom

Rebecca Racusin Almog ’02

“Don’t limit yourself.”
“I was groomed from a very young age by my violin teachers to be a professional. Pursuing a career in music is not for the faint of heart — it takes hours of practicing every day combined with serious focus. This can translate into a one-track education: Go to a conservatory for a music degree, then join the orchestral-audition circuit.

“When I started at Kent Place, in seventh grade, I quickly established a rhythm: Wake up at 5:30 a.m. to practice before school, practice in the Mabie House during my free periods, get home and practice more, dinner, homework, bed, repeat. But what my time at Kent Place taught me was that I had a variety of academic interests.

“When I decided to pursue a liberal arts degree, I knew I was opening myself up to a world of greater possibilities. Though I was still on a performance track, studying concurrently at the New England Conservatory, getting my master’s in music, and winning a few jobs, I continued to believe I could eventually find something to engage all of my skills, both playing and otherwise.

“Two years ago, I started Jackson Hole Chamber Music, a chamber music festival that presents a series of concerts in September, uniting many of the country’s finest musicians. Founding, managing, and playing in a nonprofit organization means I can combine all the things in which I excel. It also enables me to learn on the spot about the other side of the music business — arts administration — with which I had no prior experience. Taking my work at Kent Place seriously and pursuing a liberal arts education in addition to performance studies expanded my horizons and my options for a diverse and fulfilling career.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.