ENMU Student Plans to Help Foster Children through Music Therapy

Angela Rudd
Angela Rudd

ENMU Student Plans to Help Foster Children through Music Therapy

Angela Rudd, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from Eastern New Mexico University this spring, was born in Aberdeen, Washington, and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Her younger brother is pursuing music as a freshman at Denver University. Her parents are both retired; her mother was an electrical engineer, and her father was a lab technician and a laser physicist in the Air Force.

When Angela was young, her parents adopted her from foster care. They utilized music as a therapy tool, which developed Angela's love for music from a young age.

"[Music] helped me to focus and grow my mind in a positive and relaxing way. I grew up taking piano and voice lessons. When I was introduced to opera, I loved it," she explained. The "deep emotion and challenge of classical singing" is what drew her to her major.

She hopes to achieve two things in her career: to be a successful opera singer and to earn an additional degree in music therapy. She wants to "help foster children, just as music helped me growing up. I would like to create a program that allows for a safe haven, where these children learn and develop their passions through music."

Angela has received a plethora of scholarships and academic honors. She was named to the Dean's List in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. She also had the honor of receiving the John Wozencraft Young Scholarship for Voice from 2014-2015, the Harry E. Barton Scholarship for Music in 2014, the ENMU Choral Scholarship from 2014-2018 and the ENMU Green and Silver Presidential Scholarship from 2014-2018.

Outside of the classroom, she served as peer-mentor for freshmen students through the ENMU PACT (Preparing to Achieve College Together) program. She also sings in a choir for the First United Methodist Church in Clovis. "The choir is small, but their hearts are full of fire. I enjoy working there very much," she said.

Angela worked as a camp counselor at ENMU's Summer Choir Camp in 2014 and 2015. "Under the direction of Dr. Jason Paulk, we help prepare high schoolers for their upcoming All-State Choir auditions. It was a wonderful and exhausting week of singing, learning, and fun!"

Her favorite class is her voice lessons. "I love the freedom to experiment and feeling myself grow from week to week," she explained.

She has had many mentors at Eastern. "Dr. Wozencraft-Ornellas was my first voice teacher here at ENMU, and she was a wonderful mentor who believed in my abilities. Dr. Sherwood has been a tremendous mentor in my time here. He has pushed me beyond my limits and set his expectations higher than I thought I could reach.

"My other two mentors I could not have made it without are Dr. Jason Paulk and Mrs. Kayla Paulk. These two wonderful people recruited me to ENMU and have continually supported me and loved me throughout my time at ENMU. They have been extremely patient with me and have taught me integrity and persistence in my musical pursuits."

She chose ENMU because "it has a wonderful music program, amazing staff and is very affordable."

If you are looking for Angela on campus, you will likely find her under the pergola. "When I was a freshman, my best friend and I would go there and turn on some music and dance the night away," she said.

Her favorite part of being an ENMU student is the Greyhound community. "The students and faculty have been warm and friendly. They are very supportive, and I feel like I have accomplished a lot in my time here," she explained.

Angela's advice to those interested in music:

"Music is hard, but as the saying goes 'Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain and difficulty.'-Theodore Roosevelt. If you love it, don't quit, you will make it through and come out shining."