Published: Dec. 16, 2015 By

samantha jones

Music Education major Samantha Jones (third from left) will address graduates at Friday's College of Music Fall Commencement.

At Friday’s Fall Commencement, the College of Music will recognize the accomplishments of 36 students as they walk across the stage in Grusin Music Hall. Leading undergraduates will be the faculty-nominated Outstanding Graduating Student, Samantha Jones.

Originally from Hawaii, Jones is leaving the University of Colorado Boulder with not only a BME and a minor in philosophy, but also with one of the most important lessons a future educator can learn. “You have to have confidence in what you’re doing,” she says. “If you don’t have confidence in your teaching, your students will eat you alive!”

Jones, who was also valedictorian of her high school class, has been involved in music for most of her life, and she credits her early music experiences with shaping her career. She was involved in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band at CU-Boulder, along with ballet. The saxophonist says the confidence she applies to her teaching must guide her performing as well. “If you don’t have confidence in your playing, you are likely to be holding back and not playing with as much musicality as you’re capable of.”

After graduation, Jones says she will spend a semester traveling and substitute teaching before finding a position teaching high school or middle school band.

To be eligible for the Outstanding Student award, students must be on track to graduate with at least a 3.7 cumulative grade point average. They’re also chosen by faculty based on academic and musical excellence. Jones graduates with high honors (at least a 3.8 GPA).

Jones will address her fellow graduates in Friday’s commencement ceremony, as will College of Music Dean Robert Shay. Commencement begins at 3 p.m. in Grusin Music Hall.