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Parallel Lives Intersect at NVCC Music Department

Michigan-born musicians finally cross paths

NVCC music instructors Emily Boyer and Scott Switzer have a lot in common. Both are classical musicians. They are from the same town in Michigan; in fact, Scott was a friend of Emily’s older brother. Separated by a few years academically, both graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and Yale School of Music but at different times. They didn’t even know until this interview that they were hired into the NVCC Music Department at the same time (two years ago). How’s that for degrees of separation?

Boyer and Switzer were recognized by President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., at the year’s second Confluencia on Thurs., Nov. 21 after the pair regaled the crowd with “Fan Fare for the Fine Arts Lobby,” a piece contrived specially for the Confluencia events.

“One of the reasons I wrote this piece was for a bassoon and French horn duet,” said Switzer, adding that the two instruments aren’t often paired together.

Both Boyer and Switzer compose music and perform freelance in addition to their teaching roles at the College. Boyer is a member of the horn and harp duo Apple Orange Pair, which just released its first record, while Switzer notes that “Fan Fare” was one of the rare times he has performed one of his own pieces. Switzer recently composed the album Breaking Out, a bassoon quartet and wind ensemble, for the YouTube sensation The Breaking Winds with the Yale Concert Band.

Outside ventures aside, the two are happy to be teaching, particularly in the community college setting.

“I always knew I wanted to go into teaching music,” said Boyer, “and I always wanted to teach the type of students who are here, especially those studying music for the first time.”

“It’s great to show the importance and depth that music really has and how integral it is,” added Switzer. “Most people don’t realize how much music there is and I like being able to share that.”

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