Hailey McAvoyJanuary 17, 2019
Mezzo Soprano Hailey McAvoy is currently pursuing a Masters in Vocal Arts at the Bard College Conservatory. At Eastman, she earned a Bachelor’s in Voice and Musical Arts with a concentration in German. As a performer, Hailey’s work ranges from opera and premieres of songs written by her colleagues to carefully curated recitals, including a concert featuring works by Hub Miller which premiered at Eastman in 2018.
1. You received an IML Grant for your project “To Eastern Oregon and Beyond: Laying the Foundation for Publication of Hub Miller’s Song Folio.” How did you stumble upon Hub Miller’s compositions, and what drove you to pursue the publication of his works?
I discovered Hub Miller’s songs during my freshman year at Eastman when I went searching for a recording of my teacher, Carol Webber, in Sibley. The recording that I found included selections from recitals Professor Webber had given over several decades, and of the sixty tracks, the four that stopped my world on a dime were Hub’s songs. The earnest beauty of the music and lyrics, both written by Miller, spoke to me so profoundly that I decided I would try to share them with the world.
2. What challenges did you encounter in the publishing process that you did not anticipate?
The challenges continue to abound! The publishing process has many steps: engraving the music, editing those files, getting the songs copyrighted, finding the right publisher, and more… And of course, it costs money and takes time! The greatest challenge for me has been finding ways to make progress on a project which can seem so monumental while I am in school. I try to ensure that I do something for Hub– sing a concert, take a step toward publishing, or expand the Hub network– every month.
3. How did you balance the demands of being a full-time student at Eastman while also dedicating time to your IML project?
I was lucky because my Musical Arts Degree at Eastman focused on Hub, so I was able to tie a lot of my academic work together with my project. The IML Grant I received also paid, principally, for a trip I took to meet Miller’s family over the summer after my senior year, when it was easy to give the project my full attention! I purposefully delayed my MUA recital until the second semester of my Take 5* so that I would have time to work all I learned on my trip into a show-stopping concert.
4. Can you describe what you found most rewarding about this project?
There are two most rewarding aspects of my project. The first is that I have developed a beautiful working relationship with the Miller family. I’ve been able to visit them twice now, and it is such a joy to spend time together, building friendship. The second is sharing Hub’s music with diverse audiences. From Boston to Los Angeles, in concert halls, classrooms, and living rooms, I’ve shared these songs with so many… Seeing a new face light up with the magic of Hub makes my heart sing.
5. What would you say to current Eastman students who may find themselves embarking upon their own entrepreneurial projects?
Go for it! Spend time dreaming as big as you can, and ask for help. There are SO many resources at Eastman, and so many people ready to help and support you and your project. I would also say that, if possible, when you’re starting your project, try to find a window of time– maybe a month over the summer– when it can be your main focus. Having time to lay a good foundation can be a life saver when it comes to balancing other demands with your project later.
*Note: Take 5 is an academic program at The University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music that provides students with an additional year or semester of study in addition to their four-year degree program at no additional cost.