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Interview with TAPS Alum, Jakob Schoenfeld

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

We sat down with Jakob Schoenfeld (TAPS LA '21) to talk about his time in the program!

Jakob is a 3rd year percussion student at Juilliard from Oviedo, FL.

What made you interested in attending TAPS?

JS: The faculty and the performance opportunities. There was a large variety of faculty giving classes both in person and virtually. With the performance opportunities- it was a great way to experience LA and to share music with others.

What were some of your favorite classes and faculty presentations at TAPS?

JS: I particularly enjoyed working with Ted Atkatz and George Nickson! They were there for the entire two weeks of the program, which allowed us to spend a lot of quality time together and really understand their thought process on percussion and performing.

What are your current musical and career goals as a percussionist?

JS: I hope to have variety in my performing career, both in the orchestral side of percussion and hopefully with chamber and solo opportunities. I felt that TAPS touched on many different areas of percussion, and provided great insights into various playing styles and career paths.

What was your favorite performance opportunity at TAPS?

JS: Our final concert was Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich, and we got to perform outside of Colburn. This was a great chance to play live music after the COVID Pandemic, and to connect with friends in the LA area.

Jakob playing vibes on Music for 18 Musicians

How has TAPS helped you prepare for your college and professional experience?

JS: George Nickson's class provided great inspiration for balancing Chamber Music with Orchestral playing, and to find ways to get a holistic musical experience outside of school. That information has been at the front of my mind as I begin my Junior year of college, and has improved my quality of learning and life!

How was it working with the students from the Switzer Center?

JS: The students taught me a lot about the power of music. Some of them are non verbal, but their ability to listen to the beats of the west African drumming and play along was inspirational. I realized that music has the power to unite people from different backgrounds, and to allow people to come together for one experience.

Would you recommend TAPS to your peers interested in a percussion career?

JS: I would highly recommend TAPS to anyone interested in a 2 week intensive percussion experience! The people you meet are phenomenal connections and the ability to spend time performing and studying in LA is an experience I would not want to miss.

Thanks Jakob! We wish you all the best.

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