Meet the Majors - Composition - Jack Etchegary

Apr 21st, 2022

In our Meet the Majors series, we are profiling current students and alumni of programs offered at Memorial University’s School of Music! Whether you are a current student or thinking of applying, we hope these interviews help you gain insight into the range of programs that the School of Music has to offer. Visit this page to view a list of all of the majors and minors currently available for students.

Meet Jack Etchegary, BMus (Hons) ’18 in Composition, MMus '22 in Instrumental Conducting!

Jack Etchegary Headshot

Jack Etchegary graduated from Memorial University's School of Music in 2018 with a BMus (Hons) in Composition. He is currently finishing a MMus in Instrumental Conducting, graduating in April 2022! Jack is from St. John's, NL and upon graduation, he would like to teach post-secondary and create/lead some contemporary music ensembles!

Music at Memorial: When did you first become interested in music?

Jack: When I was four, I started piano lessons at the Music for Young Children program. After that experience, my musical interest emerged from there. I started percussion around junior high in the jazz band and concert band. In high school, I had an indie-folk band called City on the Coast. This band was my first foray into playing shows downtown. Now, I play drums in Soap Opera and play guitar in Property. Both bands started in 2016 with people I met in high school. When the time came to apply for MUN, I had been playing percussion in a classical context but not seriously. So, I wanted to enter that world and get immersed in what that meant. I was interested in music theory from a pretty young age taking RCM exams and a music theory course in high school. I had a knack for music theory before MUN, so it was rewarding to continue in post-secondary.

Music at Memorial:  What are your career goals?

Jack: I plan to teach post-secondary, whether that’s conducting, theory or percussion. I want to do a Masters in Theory next and eventually a DMA in Conducting. I would also like to get involved with already existing contemporary ensembles as a conductor. I have always been a strong advocate of the faculty at MUN Music. The faculty is well-versed, understanding and approachable. I’m always thinking of how rewarding it would be to be a part of a community of like-minded people! I am inspired all of the time by Bill Brennan, Rob Power, Clark Ross and Andrew Staniland.

Music at Memorial: Why did you choose to study composition at Memorial?

Jack: I chose composition because I felt that it was the major that would inspire me to create the most. The first thing that I think everyone should try is the Intro to Comp before declaring their major. Doing this course will help you decide whether or not composition is for you. It's also a great course as an elective, and I highly recommend it either way! Intro to Composition allows you to write pieces that you can include in your portfolio when applying for the program. After submitting your portfolio, you will then have an interview with the composition faculty to discuss your interests in composing. For example, your favourite composers and pieces that you like. Overall, they want to know why you want to become a composition major. 

Music at Memorial:  Do you have any advice for those looking to become composition majors? 

Jack: Be openminded.

Seek out composition contests.

Have a high understanding of theory.

Don’t pass up opportunities to have your pieces performed and recorded.

The composition world is rich in opportunities, but a lot of them you have to find for yourself!

  - Interview conducted by Music at Memorial's Winter 2022 Digital Marketing Intern, Sarah Knight.