Andrew Slembarski, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in December 2014 with a degree in music education, was recently awarded full tuition plus a teaching stipend to attend graduate school at UW-Milwaukke this August.
After graduate school, Slembarski will be eligible to play in professional ensembles.
“I’m looking forward to expanding my network of musicians that I know,” Slembarski said. “I have already established a pretty awesome network here in Stevens Point.”
Even though Slembarski has a network around here, he is thrilled at the prospect of expanding it in Milwaukee, although he is not familiar with the area.
“I am looking forward to playing with new musicians and learning from them,” Slembarski said.
Slembarski is also anticipating becoming a state employee. At UW-Milwaukee’s graduate school, he will be in charge of setting up musical equipment before and after concerts. This position will pay his tuition for graduate school in full.
Ashley Gulbranson, Slembarski’s friend and former UWSP student, is credited for introducing him to the idea of graduate school.
Gulbranson graduated from UWSP in 2013 with a degree in music education and horn performance. She is currently enrolled in graduate school at UW-Milwaukee.
“Andrew is a very hard worker, and I feel like he has a lot of potential to progress here,” Gulbranson said. “He did so many fantastic things at UWSP that I can only see him doing positive things at UWM.”
Slembarksi’s main instrument is horn, and he worked with Patrick Miles, horn professor at UWSP.
“He puts in a tremendous amount of work and understands people and how to work at a really organic level, a level that a lot of people really don’t get,” Miles said. “He grew up on a farm, and so when he applied that work ethic to his music, it really started to take off.”
Miles and Slembarski still keep in touch weekly. Slembarski describes Miles as a “father figure.”
“I think one of my guiding principles as a faculty member is that I am here for the students, and the students aren’t here for me,” Miles said. “I enjoy being a resource for my students.”
Slembarski appreciates the tremendous time and effort UWSP’s faculty has put into helping him improve musically.
“Graduate school is a really big step for him,” Miles said. “It’s an opportunity that he feels he can’t say no to. Who wouldn’t want more education?”
Pull Quote: “Andrew is a very hard worker and I feel like he has a lot of potential to progress here,” Gulbranson said. “He did so many fantastic things at UWSP, that I can only see him doing positive things at UWM.”