From music student to music educator: Slagle pursues inspirational path to college


Brandon Slagle is excited to pursue music education at West Virginia University next fall.

Many students enjoy music classes and programs while in high school, but often don’t know what path to pursue for a career in music. From professional performing to conducting to producing, there are countless careers that encompass the same musical ideas and practices. For students like Brandon Slagle, the opportunity to enjoy a career in music after high school is found by taking the music education path in college. 

While Slagle has always enjoyed music and playing instruments, it was his teachers at Trinity that inspired him to pursue a music education major starting next fall at West Virginia University. 

Slagle stated, “Mr. Hilty and other instructors in the marching band seem to love their job, and I really want to have a job that I’m going to love.”

For Slagle, West Virginia University was the perfect college that could allow him to enhance his education and overall musical experience. He was drawn to the school’s balance in size; the university itself is large, but most of the classrooms are small, which provides the experience of a smaller college. Slagle was also drawn to the university’s wide range of opportunities, including many extracurricular activities. 

Slagle reflected on his college search by saying, “My parents and I have always loved watching the halftime shows that WVU’s marching band performs. I visited their campus and loved it; there’s lots to do and everyone seems to love it there.” 

In order to study music education at WVU, Slagle will have to learn how to play different instruments and take music theory classes to understand how instruments work together. While he is looking forward to learning this new information, Slagle is nervous to have to balance his time between practicing his main instrument, the trumpet, and learning the basics of all of the other instruments. But, Slagle is excited to continue his love of playing the trumpet by participating in concert band, marching band, and other ensembles in college.

Overall, Slagle believes that the music programs at Trinity have prepared him for the challenge of college. Marching band provided him with opportunities to learn about leadership and teamwork, and both marching band and concert band helped him to develop his skills as a musician.

While music education may not be the path for everyone, Slagle offered some advice concerning how to pick a major and a college: “Go with a major that you will enjoy- you want to love your job. The advice I can give is to visit as many colleges as you can. Get a feel for the schools, and you will just know where you belong.”

Congratulations, Brandon! The Hiller staff wishes you the best of luck at West Virginia University on your path to becoming a music educator!