Alumni Story

Blake Hansen (C ’11)

Blake Hansen has loved music ever since he can remember, and began playing ’s piano and violin as a very young child. After completing his homeschooing—having lived in Italy, Scotland, and around the United States as part of a military family—Blake considered directly attending a music conservatory for his undergraduate years.

But, he says, “I loved studying subjects like history, literature, and environmental science,” and recognized that Principia’s liberal arts education offered opportunities for a broader education.

Blake is midway through a two-year Master’s program in piano performance at the Hartt School, the performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford, in Connecticut. In fact, his piano teacher at Hartt, Luiz de Moura Castro, visited Principia as a guest artist and taught a master class and the two developed a great rapport on these visits. Blake received an accompanying assistantship from Hartt, a paid position helping student musicians prepare for recitals and accompanying concerts. “I studied piano with Professor Marie Jureit-Beamish at Prin, and was fully prepared for the level of piano I am studying now,” Blake says. 

In addition to furthering his piano playing capabilities, Principia gave Blake wide exposure to other roles in performance—choir accompanist, house manager, orchestra manager, and music librarian.

“It is unlikely that I would have had these opportunities if I had attended a music conservatory. I was able to exercise a different skill set as an ensemble musician and practical manager at Prin,” says Blake, who also “appreciated the interaction with other majors at Prin, and learned so much from friends who were pursuing their own interests.”

Blake plans to earn his PhD in music at Hartt, with the aim of teaching at the college level someday.