Spotlight on Humanities Alumni: Kary Haddad

Name: Kary Haddad
Age: 30
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in Music, University of Rochester, 2004; M.A. in Music Education, Eastman School of Music, 2006.
Current city/state of residence: New York City
Job Title: Music Teacher & Freelance Musician
Employer: Columbia Preparatory School


Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I chose UR because of the availability of the combined BA/MA in Music Education with the Eastman School of Music. It was a great way to combine a liberal arts degree, which I wanted, with the quality training of a conservatory.

When and how did you choose your major?

I went to UR for a specific program, so I decided before I even arrived on campus. Of course, I could have changed my mind, but the program was exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

My biggest influence as an undergrad was Kim Kowalke, who was my advisor in addition to inviting me to TA his Musical Theater Workshop. It’s been great keeping in touch with him through email, while continuing many of the conversations (and debates!) we had when I was a student.

How do you balance your work and personal life?

It’s important (even if you love what you do) to leave work at work. You can be the most driven, motivated, career-oriented person, but what’s the point if you don’t make time for your friends? I don’t find this balance tricky, but since living in NYC, I do know you have to carve out the time to make people’s schedules work. So, maybe the best advice is to have a good calendar.

How are you still connected with the University?

I’m still friends with a lot of the people I went to UR with, and in fact, I am going to a UR alum’s wedding next weekend. Another alum once told me she felt like whenever she meets another UR graduate, she always feels like she has something in common with them…enough to feel comfortable striking up a conversation. I think that’s about right. I also talk it up big time at the school where I teach, encouraging students I think would be a good fit to make sure they visit.