Luis Calderon found his passion for music by making his high school band director eat his words. Calderon, a senior music major with aspirations of having a professional musical career, almost quit band permanently.
“My freshmen year in high school, I was about ready to quit band just because I guess I just grew tired of it,” Calderon said. “I wasn’t really doing well in it, and I wasn’t really practicing the music I was given; I was just kind of going through the motions.”
Then his band director, Dave Daniel called Calderon out on his awful playing, and that lit the spark which pushed Calderon to land a seat in in the Honors All-Region Band and try out for the school’s wind symphony after starting from dead last in the bottom band. Afterward Calderon learned Daniel played him into practicing more, and that he actually liked music.
Calderon chose Wesleyan out of over ten schools he’d been accepted into and has been here for his whole undergraduate degree. In his time here, Calderon’s been involved as an Orientation Leader, President’s Ambassador, Residence Assistant, and an officer of Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Fraternity.
“For me, it feels so surreal because whenever I was in high school I didn’t know where I was going to go.” Calderon said. “I didn’t know I was going to go to college because both of my parents come from Mexico, so they only reached so much education before they had to go and work and do other things besides school. I thought maybe I was just going to graduate high school, go into the work field and help my dad or something. The reason they came here was to make sure that we have a future, and it’s a very bright future. I’m very thankful to be where I am now.”
As a first-generation college student, Caldron said he was thankful to many, but especially Associate Professor of Music Dr. Jerome Bierschenk.
“Ever since I came here, he’s always guided me into different pathways,” Calderon said. “I came in here as an instrumentalist and there were a lot of areas I needed to work on. He opened those doors for me to explore and get experience. I feel like it will help me a lot in the long run.”
Calderon will be attending graduate school at Texas Christian University with everything covered for a Master’s Degree of Music and horn performance.
“I’ve learned a lot coming here, and I’ve made so many connections, so many memories and friends,” Calderon said. “I am kind of sad to see it come to an end, but it’s not necessarily a definitive end. There’s still more to come, and I’m very grateful to have been here and to have gathered and received everything that I could: the knowledge, the friendship, the partnership, and the life lessons. There’s much left to come, and I’m very excited for the future.”