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Student Spotlight: Erin Whited

Erin Whited is a graduate music major and works as one of the graduate assistants in the University Bands Office. Erin has been instrumental in the execution of the day-to-day schedule of the Marching Southerners. From organizing travel to coordinating shows and events, Erin has had a very well-rounded educational experience at JSU. We were able to catch up with Erin and ask her a few questions about these experiences and how they have shaped and prepared her for the future.

Describe your experience working in the University Bands Office.

Working in the University Band office is such an amazing experience for me. I get to see the inner workings of a massive student organization that includes 5% of the student body here at JSU. What’s both terrifying and absolutely amazing about The Marching Southerners is that it encompasses every type of personality, but we are all here to do what we love, and we do it together, as a family. Everyone has a place here: members on the field but also within the staff in the office. Working as an administrative assistant has given me possibly the most career-readiness preparation that one could receive, along with all the confidence I need to successfully lead my own band program!

Why did you decide to attend JSU?

I knew my senior year of high school that I wanted to teach music. I grew up just on the other side of the state line in Georgia and watched The Marching Southerners perform at local exhibitions throughout my high school band experience. I knew that Jacksonville had a highly reputable teacher education program, and I knew that I had to be a Marching Southerner! Also, under the influence of a band scholarship, it was possibly the easiest decision of my life when I decided that Jacksonville would be my next home.

What has been the most meaningful experience here at JSU?

I don’t think I can take all of the beautiful moments from my 6 years of living in Jacksonville and pick just one to be the most meaningful. Making meaningful connections has been the most meaningful experience for me. Having the opportunity to learn from and teach alongside the most amazing band directors, work with brilliant students, and form friendships and relationships that I will hold tight to no matter where life takes me–that is the most meaningful experience that JSU has given or could ever give me.

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