Nathania Hartojo ’20

Nathania Hartojo

I plan on majoring in music because it is something I love, and I want to continue doing what I love. I have played oboe since I was in middle school, and I can't imagine my life without it. Oboe is actually what made me learn to love music. I used to hate playing music before I started playing the oboe, but when I finally picked it up, the oboe changed everything. Though it may be true that I may not be as financially stable as my peers who are pursuing careers in the sciences, in the end I will be happier pursuing my calling.

I love music because music is a part of me, and I enjoy being able to share something so intimate about myself with a community that understands me.

Kateryna Bolonnikova ’21

Katernya Blonnikova

Music had casually been a major part of my life since childhood, hence up until a certain point I did not experience an urge to give up all of my other interests to pursue it professionally. It was at Pomona, however, that I was exposed to so many academic and pre-professional opportunities, that at some point it became clear to me that I couldn’t pursue all of them while doing justice to the aspiring musician inside.

When one of the summers I pursued a STEM internship and had neither the time nor space to practice my instruments and write music, I felt so bitter about my choices that some days I would commute (by public transport) from Pasadena to Claremont after hours to access the upright pianos at Pomona, often staying into the night and taking the morning train back to my job. Following that experience, with my advisor Professor Alfred Cramer’s encouragement that “a music major is not career suicide,” I made one of my best decisions so far by declaring a music major.

Far from being an easy path, music for me has not been merely about working on musicianship skills and building performance and composition portfolios – but also about practicing being a more thoughtful, mature, and aware human being. My gratitude extends to all of the Music Department faculty who have been patient and well-wishing mentors, as well as to fellow music majors who make this journey fun.