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Student Spotlight: Philomena Duffy '13, G'15

Student Spotlight Series

Jun 16, 2014 | Article by: Sarah Scalese

Philomena Duffy '13, G'15


Philomena Duffy ’13, G’15 graduated from Syracuse University in 2013 with a B.M. in Music Education. Today, the talented singer and instrumentalist is a graduate student enrolled in the Janklow Arts Leadership Program in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Duffy, who grew up in Massachusetts but now calls New Hampshire home, is pursuing a master’s degree in Arts Leadership.

The avid Orange fan says though she never excelled in sports, being a part of the athletic bands here at SU provided a unique musical experience.

We are pleased to feature Duffy in our special “Student Spotlight” series.

1. Where are you from?

Deerfield, NH

2. Tell us a little bit about life before SU?

Right now, my family lives in New Hampshire but I was raised right outside of Worcester, Mass.   Despite the encouraging efforts of my college-football-playing father, I never took to high school athletics.  Other than the one year I floundered in JV field hockey, I was almost fully immersed in the arts.  By my senior year I was president of the band, alto section leader, a four-year member of the theater guild, and also played in two community youth orchestras.  It seems as if it was forever ago, but those community groups are the reason I’d like to pursue the Arts Leadership degree.   Their ability to create purpose and community in a city was inspiring.

3. Where did you do your undergraduate studies and in what field did you earn your degree?

I went to Syracuse University where I received my B.M. in Music Education.

4. Why did you choose SU?

I chose SU for my undergraduate studies because I liked the small community of the music school and how it balanced the large student body.  I was very involved in the athletic bands which allowed for a unique musical experience.  I decided to stay at Syracuse to expand my managerial and public relations knowledge while still steering my career around the arts.  During my time with the athletic bands, I noticed a language barrier between performing music and the management and I’d like to use the Janklow Program to find the tools that can close that gap.

5. What do you hope to do after graduation?

The year after I graduate I’ll be continuing an internship at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.  After that I hope to move to a city, where I would substitute teach and to get my foot in the door at local arts programs and symphonies.

6. What is your long-term professional goal?

I would love to be on the education outreach program for a major symphony or orchestra.  This would allow me to use both my education and management degrees while still being immersed in music.

7. What attracted you to arts leadership?

Arts Leadership is not only a way for me to build on my education degree but to also expand it.  It’s giving me options in a field that has recently been suffering cut-backs.

8. Who is your biggest role model and why?

My biggest role model is Beethoven.  He disregarded the strict rules of the classical era, took a step back and created something innovative and beautiful from its structure.  I’m perfectly content following the rules, but Beethoven reminds me that being bold with the proper resources and talent can create something wonderful.

9. What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to ski. And sing loudly in my car.

10. What extracurricular activities do you planning on participating in while at SU?

While at SU, I plan on continuing to play oboe in SU Symphony Orchestra and I’ll hopefully stop by rehearsals for my old a cappella group, “Main Squeeze.”   And lastly, in my five years in the Syracuse area I’ve virtually never missed a men’s football or basketball game, so I’d hate to break that tradition now. 

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Contact Information

Sarah Scalese
315-443-8085
sescales@syr.edu