Quick decision influences life of music

Nancy Hart, like all of us, has made a lot of seemingly insignificant choices in her lifetime.

For Hart, one decision that didn’t seem very important at the time has turned out to be extremely significant.

Senior Nancy Hart has been playing the flute since fifth grade. She will be having a flute recital at 3 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the Light Recital Hall in the Center of the Arts. Photo submitted

“When I was in fifth grade, I started band,” Hart said. “I actually didn’t know the difference between the flute and the clarinet so I just picked one.”

Now a senior, Hart is preparing for her senior recital … on the flute. She knows that everything really came together for her back in that elementary school band room.

“I had a lot of fun in band,” Hart said. “Our band teacher was really inspiring. He loved music and was very passionate about it. It kind of sparked my interest.”

Growing up in Pewaukee, Hart wasn’t the only one in the family who had musical interests.

Her brother played the drums and her sister tried guitar. Her parents, however, weren’t so musically inclined.

“My parents, unfortunately, don’t understand music at all,” Hart said. “My mom tries to give me advice, but it doesn’t really work. When we’re in the car … they would rather listen to talk radio.”

As Hart continued to excel playing flute, she knew she needed to find a school that was the right fit.

UW-Whitewater won out and when asked why, Hart needed about a millisecond to respond.

“Dr. Fellows. Definitely. I had gone to different schools and met with different professors and I liked him the best. We get along really well,” Hart said.

Along with helping Hart decide on UW-Whitewater, Fellows has also been a huge inspiration for her since they first met.

“He has a great love of music and he just knows so much. I’ve learned a lot from him,” Hart said.

In turn, Fellows has enjoyed the relationship he’s built with Hart and is glad she decided on UW-Whitewater.

“I think her sound has grown and just every aspect of her playing has gotten a lot better,” Fellows said. “She realized that this was a pretty good situation here and I don’t think she’s ever really looked back.”

Over the years, Hart has acquired a lot of good memories playing in concerts on campus. However, the one concert where she didn’t even play her normal flute is the one that sticks out the most in her mind.

“My sophomore year I was told I had to play piccolo which I had never played before and it’s tough,” Hart said. “I was scared to death. It’s so loud and everyone hears you. If you mess up … they know that it’s you.”

Surprisingly, Hart has grown to love the piccolo since that first nervous encounter.

“I actually prefer to play piccolo in an orchestra now,” Hart said. “After I got more confident with it, I realized I really liked it, but that first concert was still terrifying.”

Hart is currently majoring in flute performance, but when she arrived at UW-Whitewater she was actually interested in music education. Needless to say, that dream didn’t last long.

“It was more of a back-up to be honest,” Hart said. “My plan was to do an undergrad in education and then get a job teaching and have a steady income. After, I was planning to go to grad school for performance, but … I just couldn’t deal with kids.”

Hart’s recital is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Light Recital Hall in the Center of the Arts.

With the time fast approaching, Hart has taken a different approach to practicing.

“All summer and the beginning of the school year I was practicing a lot more,” Hart said. “Now I have to kind of slow down and do more run-throughs to build up endurance. It’s hard to play over an hour’s worth of music.”

For the performance, Hart will be playing three pieces and someone guaranteed to be in attendance is her current roommate, and fellow flutist, Johnathan Bernhardt.

Bernhardt has been friends with Hart since her freshman year and he knows how great it is to watch her perform.

“She’s always upbeat and excited to play,” Bernhardt said. “She’s really fun.”

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