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Pablo Valladares

Quito, Ecuador
Piano Performance major

Music is something I cannot live without. When I’m not playing, I feel bad. Fortunately at Drake, I have ample opportunities to practice and perform both with my peers and alongside faculty.

As an international student, there’s a lot to get used to living in a different culture.  It’s exhausting, having to think and speak in another language. I could not have made the transition as easily without the help of my professor, Nicholas Roth, who helped me figure out what I needed to do when I first got here. 

Now, more than a year since I first arrived at Drake, I have had so many fantastic experiences. I’ve played in the Keys to Excellence piano series, which aims to raise money for new pianos for the Music department at Drake. I’m part of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a music honor society, which has helped me to get more involved and meet people. This summer, I went on tour with Professor Roth in my home country of Ecuador, raising awareness for my family’s nonprofit, which brings music to children in poverty.

While I had other options on where to go for school, Drake was definitely the right choice for me. I’m impressed by the sense of community here and I’ve had amazing opportunities to grow as a musician.