Amanda Betts -Staff Writer
Megan Blashford is passionate about many things, and as a senior speech language pathology major, honors program minor and lover of music, that passion is going to help her achieve her dreams.
Music has been immensely important in Blashford’s life since she was able to talk. In her early elementary school years, her musical talent was discovered and was given the opportunity to participate in a Pittsburgh youth choir festival called “Singfest.” After being involved in the festival, Blashford began to realize her passion for singing and other aspects of music.. During that same year, she joined band and began playing piano and percussion. “My passion really took off from there and it hasn’t stopped for a second,” Blashford says.
Choosing a college ended up being very easy for Blashford, as she fell in love with Clarion University at first sight. She admired it’s “wonderful small-town feel” and was impressed by it’s programs. “It was the combination of high quality educational opportunities coupled with the warm, welcoming environment that I fell in love with,” she explained. The idea of not continuing to pursue music in college did not even occur to her. After she had already committed to Clarion, she met Dr. Stephen Johnson, director of the Clarion University Chamber Singers, during PMEA State Choir at an open house for Clarion. She immediately wanted to be involved in Chamber Singers, and on the first day of classes she auditioned to be a part of the group.
Blashford feels she has been given opportunities musically that she would not necessarily receive at other universities. While many universities only allow music majors and minors to participate in ensembles and music classes, Clarion leaves these opportunities open to any interested students. With Chamber Singers specifically, Blashford is very proud of all she has experienced. She recounted multiple tours, concerts, and her “ultimate highlight, ‘ the trip to Europe that the group took this past summer. The Chamber Singers traveled to Wales (as well as England and Ireland) to compete in an international music festival. The group ended up placing third in its division, and Blashford still often finds herself in disbelief. Along with those wonderful experiences, she is grateful for the bonds she has formed with her fellow music-lovers. Sadly, next month Blashford will be participating in her final choir festival, and will also be completing her final year of Chamber Singers this year.
However, she has no plans to let her music career end here. With her degree and music background, she plans to work with singers, as well as others with voice disorders. “I can’t think of anything more rewarding,” she says. She wants to encourage future (and current) students that they will always have time for music. “If [your music career ending] scares you, please don’t hesitate to seek out your music department at your university and get involved right away. You won’t regret it,” Blashford concluded.