by RIKKILYNN SHIELDS, Senior Writer
Naomi Uy, a junior psychology major from Centereach, N,Y., first got into music when she was very young, beginning private piano lessons at about seven years old. Originally wanting to learn to play the guitar, Uy was hesitant– but agreed to learning the piano as her parents encouraged.
Fast forward to the fourth grade when Uy began playing violin. That’s when everything came full circle– her parents pushed her to play the piano, knowing it would make learning other instruments much easier. When Uy began high school at her local public school, the performing arts program was just beginning to become popular. Throughout high school, Uy was involved in the orchestra and every other thing involving music that she was able to get involved in.
Now, a junior at Manhattan College, Uy is the president of Music Ministry and the vice president of Orchestra. While her decision to come to Manhattan College was more of a last minute thing, the performing arts program seemed to have sealed the deal.
“I was having a tough time choosing between Stony Brook University and MC, but I’ve lived 15 minutes away from SBU my entire life so I decided it was time for a change. Before coming to MC, I auditioned for the Performing Arts Scholarship which I decided on doing because I really wanted to hold on to my love of music after high school. From there, I tried to join as many ensembles as I could. Obviously, I can’t play every instrument so I couldn’t join certain groups like Pep Band or Jazz Band, but I did try my hand at everything else,” Uy said.
Currently, Uy is splitting her time between being both an instrumentalist as well as a singer. If she’s not playing the violin, piano, or cello in the Orchestra of Music Ministry, Uy is practicing with Singers or Andrew Bauer’s Album Composition class. She also partakes in even more singing ton of singing when rehearsing with her acapella group, the Performing Hearts.
Outside of the music scene, Uy considers herself to be a huge science nerd, and is completely fascinated by the major she is pursuing as well as the classes she is taking.
“I love doing research in psychology and I really can’t get enough of bio. It sounds weird, because few people would consider their collegiate career goals their passions, but I genuinely do. I even got an Anatomy of the Brain and Anatomy of the Human Body coloring books for Christmas. Those were actually the best gifts I’ve ever received,” Uy said.
Following her graduation in May 2020, Uy doesn’t have any current plans that involve music. Regardless, she plans on keeping music in her life no matter what her job may be.
“I’ve always had this dream of conducting pit orchestras on Broadway and I have had a bunch of chances to conduct here at MC, which I’m beyond grateful for, but I think we all know that dream is way too far out of reach. I hope I have time to join some community ensembles or maybe help some churches or schools that are struggling with musical groups but, otherwise, MC is basically the last definite part of my performing arts career,” Uy said.
Uy’s dreams go far beyond her musical aspirations, as she hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in neuropsychology in the future.
“I really just hope to get into a good graduate school and earn some money to pay off the outrageous debt I’ll be in. I want to get into a Ph.D. program in neuropsychology but not many students get accepted into these programs. I’ll be working hard and crossing my fingers until then,” she said.
With graduation a little over a year away, Uy plans to continue with her studies and her love for music, and is thankful for the continuous support she receives from her friends in the Performing Arts department.
“The people who really keep me going are friends that are also in the Performing Arts department,” she said. “It’s so obvious how passionate they are about music without being obsessed with it which is what usually happens at music schools or conservatories. My favorite thing about being a performer is probably performing, honestly. The best part of it is after you’ve performed, you get to see the reactions of the audience. When you’re actually performing, you’re in your own little bubble just feeling and trying to interpret the music as best you can. It feels really rewarding when the audience ends up enjoying your view about what a certain song should sound like.”