Q & A Interviews

Getting through your Undergrad is a trial most students are all too familiar with. Whatever your field of study may be, making it through those first four years on a roller-coaster missing its safety bars.

Armed with his French Horn, Taran Plamondon came to the University four years ago, ready to tackle the many challenges of obtaining a University degree. However, he admitted the last four years have had their “ups and downs,” but he has found the overall experience to be mostly enjoyable.

With his convocation fast approaching I asked whether he was more nervous or excited to graduate; I found his answer quite surprising! While most of the students I know are pretty nervous to graduate, Taran is filled with excitement. Through his training over the last four years he has learned to “put [himself] out there” which he feels has opened up so many opportunities for him.

Taran on the night of his final recital!

For Taran, completing his bachelors here at the U of A was unique because he was able to participate in both the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University Symphony Orchestra without encountering anything more savage than a little friendly competition.

His favorite memories from his time here, echo the U of A’s unique characteristic of being big enough for professional ensembles and small enough for the program to be more personal. The first of these memories was performing the solo in the Strauss Horn Concerto with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the Winspear. Another favorite memory was when his teachers let him skip an entire week of classes to go watch the Berlin Philharmonic perform. Don’t worry he is completely aware how nerdy this sounds but he insists it was absolutely worth it!

A quick selfie before his audition in Toronto (which he clearly aced!)

Next September he plans to attend the Orchestral Training Program of the Royal Conservatory at The Glenn Gould School, which is exactly as impressive as it sounds. Taran confessed that if he hadn’t had access to so many amazing opportunities, travel opportunities, moving all the way to Toronto would seem terrifying. However, he’s managed to make many connections in Toronto and has been fortunate enough to gain familiarity with this city he will soon call home.

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