Above all, do not set limits on yourself, and never set your personal and educational journey in stone.
Tanner Lapointe (BMus '22) graduates this fall with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, achieving Great Distinction in his studies. At ULethbridge, Tanner chose to focus his studies solely on music after receiving mentorship from several significant faculty members in the Department of Music and enhanced his post-secondary experience with a number of extracurricular and experiential activities.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
I have had plenty of memorable experiences while studying at the University of Lethbridge, but perhaps the most impactful of all is the number of performance opportunities I was granted. These include performances with the Opera Workshop, U of L Singers, solo recitals, and masterclasses — I will always remember the long rehearsal hours, along with the hours of additional preparation and personal practice, that ensured each production and concert was a success. It was always an honour and a privilege to receive these opportunities throughout my time at the University of Lethbridge — the knowledge, professional experience and connections I gained through these experiences will have an impact on how I conduct myself both as a person and musician in the future.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at ULethbridge?
While many people (both graduates and current students alike) emphasize the academic learning aspect of university, equally important are the lessons that you learn outside of the classroom. My time at ULethbridge was full of challenges; throughout my degree, we dealt with various budget cuts, ever-increasing tuition costs, and a global pandemic (just to name a few). For me, these circumstances brought forward three lessons that were the most important.
First, we must always have compassion and treat others with kindness. Second, we must be actionable and show personal accountability. Finally, we must remember that we are not alone in our struggles — whether we are taking part in class from the solitude of our bedrooms, or whether we are shut out by a six-week-long job action, the most valuable thing we can do is to be compassionate enough to help those who may be at their lowest, and to always speak out when situations seem to turn to the worst.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
The three professors that have shaped my university journey most heavily are (the now retired) Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, Dr. Janet Youngdahl and Dr. Sandra Stringer. I initially began my post-secondary journey at the University of Lethbridge as a student pursuing a BMus/BEd combined degree — after interacting with these three professors, my interest swiftly shifted to a full-length Bachelor of Music degree. They inspired me to absorb all of the knowledge and performance opportunities that I was able to, and they always pushed me to perform to the best of my ability. Each of these voice professors further advanced me in my study of music and performance and instilled in me a sense of responsibility and professionalism that I will continue to carry with me. They also fostered a love of vocal music and artistry that will stay with me forever.
Did you receive scholarships and awards? If so, please tell us a bit about how they helped you throughout your studies.
During my time at the University of Lethbridge, I was fortunate enough to have received a multitude of awards and scholarships to help me further my educational journey —these awards allowed me to focus more heavily on my studies rather than worry about finances. Specifically, through the periods of lockdowns, we faced as a university community, and as a global community, the ability to fall back onto these awards and scholarships was a blessing and an anchor for many students who may have lost jobs or other positions when these lockdowns occurred. Not only did they help with the financial aspect of post-secondary education, but these awards were an indicator that you are doing something positive in your educational journey, these were always signs to keep moving forward in that journey.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I plan to pursue a Master of Music degree in the near future while continuing to teach private voice lessons. I hope to also continue performing in as many concerts and productions as I am able to — it is the greatest joy to step onstage and tell the stories of diverse people and characters through music.
What advice would you give to those about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Follow and engage with your curiosity, always open your mind and expand upon the knowledge you hold and finally, ask and challenge difficult questions. Above all, do not set limits on yourself, and never set your personal and educational journey in stone.
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