Three Musically Gifted People, One City


Christina English

These musically talented seniors are going to Nashville to further educate themselves in music! Stewart Geisz on the left, Xavier May on the right. (Christina English)

Mr. Shwamb’s AP music theory class, which consists of three senior boys, are all going to Nashville for college–and they’re all majoring in music! These seniors are Xavier May, Stewart Geisz, and Ahmad Alexander. Because of this, I decided to ask them some questions about the decisions that they made to get to this point. The questions that I asked them were:

  1. What college in Nashville are you going to next year? Why did you make that decision?
  2. What field of music are you majoring in? Why?
  3. What are you the most excited about with regards to the college you’re going to and the major you’re studying?
  4. How has AP Music helped you prepare for next year?

 “I’m going to Belmont University,” said May. He also mentioned that Belmont wasn’t his first choice, but his other choices didn’t work out. Like Xavier, Alexander will also attend Belmont. He decided to go to Belmont because of “their top tier music program and the city that it is built around which is Nashville.”

Geisz said that he was “going to Vanderbilt University.” He liked “the combination of academic rigor and opportunity to mix the sciences with [his] love of music in a city with such culture and history.”

May is going to be majoring in Musical Theater. He elaborated that he’s “always loved all things theater, and Belmont has a pretty high ranked program.” Geisz is going to take on the challenge of doing a double major. He’s planning on majoring in both “comp sci or theoretical math and music composition.” 

Alexander said that he will be majoring in commercial music. He mentioned that his reasoning for his choice in major was because “the degree, and all the styles [he] will be studying are the ideal path of what [he] want[s] to do with [his] life as a musician.” He’s also thinking of maybe touring in a band one day, so he wants to learn to play a multitude of different styles of music. 

May’s really excited to be adapting to a new environment, and he’s excited about how there are six other WCA seniors that are going to Nashville. He said he is glad that he’s going “to have a few more years with them.” Alexander is ecstatic about meeting other people with lots of musical talent at Belmont, and he’s ecstatic about the different opportunities that Belmont can offer to them. He also mentioned that he is “nervous but also excited for the possible challenges [he] will face.

Geisz is excited about being able to go in-depth with his double major. He’s interested in exploring “the connection between music and math or programming.” He elaborated that sound originates from “the sine function and a Fourier transform to combine many” which he’s excited to know more about, and he’s fascinated about how technology plays a part in music. 

Through AP Music Theory, May was able to get a better grasp on music, and he’s grateful that he will be “going into a field like theater and understanding ALL of the aspects, not just the performing part.” Alexander said that the specific concepts that he learned in AP Music Theory will “stick with [him] for a lifetime.” He mentioned, too, that the concepts he learned will be able to get him ready “to study all genres of music and different  types of performances such as soloists and duets or big bands.”

Geisz said that AP Music Theory was able to act like a guide when it came to “[analyzing] music to take ideas from my favorite composers.” He went on to say that it taught him lessons on  “how to bring up and resolve dissonances in my own music,” and it was able to help him “gain an appreciation for the art [he] love[s] beyond its first evoking reaction.”