This is the third of three profiles of the graduating seniors who will be featured in the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble’s spring concert on Thursday, May 19. The photo above, taken by Hannah O’Flynn ’15 during the Coast’s March music exchange trip to Cuba, shows Kathryn Waychoff ’16, at front, with Coast director Don Glasgo and fellow Coast seniors Kimberly Hassel and Moises Silva.
Kathyrn Waychoff ’16, from Bethesda, MD, plays trumpet with the Coast. Double-majoring in Engineering Sciences and Physics, she plans to remain at Dartmouth a fifth year to complete a Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in thermal-fluid systems, and then go on to graduate school. Waychoff participated in research in the Dartmouth physics department during her four years, culminating in an internship at NASA and research trips to Sweden and New Zealand. She also loves hiking and exploring and is a leader with Cabin and Trail in the Dartmouth Outing Club.
In addition to being the Coast’s lead trumpet player since her freshman year, Waychoff has played with the Dartmouth College Marching Band since that year, leading the ensemble as Drum Major in 2015. She has also been a trumpet mentor for the Dartmouth Youth Wind Ensemble (in which Dartmouth student musician volunteers mentor and direct an ensemble of Upper Valley middle-school musicians) and, while studying abroad in Hong Kong at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, played in their Chung Chi Wind Orchestra. She also is a member of the student band Half the City.
“Dartmouth gave me the opportunity to play in high quality college ensembles while pursuing majors in completely unrelated subjects. I’ve been challenged, both through my ensemble experience and lessons from a phenomenal instructor, and believe I’ve grown as a musician through the opportunities Dartmouth has given me. The Hopkins Center Ensembles understand students’ commitments to academics and other extracurriculars, and are wonderfully flexible and supportive. At the same time, they expect a high level of performance and commitment from day one. You walk in the first day freshman year, are handed something you think you can’t possibly play, and are simply expected to do it. And somehow, even with all of the school work and research, when that concert comes around, you pull it off.”
After Dartmouth, she said, “I hope to continue to play throughout graduate school, wherever that leads me. I will not stop playing the trumpet, though it will be much harder to find a group to participate in at this level post-graduation. Regardless, the appreciation I have for live music will not decay, and I will continue to follow the art form for the rest of my life.
“The Cuban culture is so different from our own, and simply being there and seeing the interactions of people in day-to-day life was an eye-opening experience. The way they treat music and musicians was wonderful. Music is such an integral part of daily life in Cuba. The rhythms of the city blend in so seamlessly with the unmistakable sounds of Cuban jazz. Playing on tour was a chance to not only experience the life of a touring musician, but to study the way Cuban music permeates the culture, and the way Cuban musicians are respected. Cuban musicians are the keepers of a long-standing musical tradition that is steeped in history, culture, and ancient religion. For me and many other members of the Barbary Coast, seeing the love and dedication that Cuban musicians put into their craft was an inspiration. I think the sound that you’ll hear in May will be tighter, more focused, and more passionate than you’ve heard from the Coast before.”