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Alumni Profile: Ashley Shabankareh '10, M.M. '12

College of Music and Media

 

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Bachelor's Degrees in Music Industry Studies and Music Education
Master's Degree in Music Performance
Current City: New Orleans, LA
Hometown: Spring, TX

When it came down to deciding where I would go to school, I knew I was intrigued by New Orleans, its music, and its culture, but beyond that, I was intrigued by the sense of community I immediately felt on Loyola's campus. Looking back now, choosing to attend Loyola was one of the best decisions I could have made, leading me on my dream career path. 

At Loyola, I got involved with organizations that really spoke to my interests. From Sigma Alpha Iota (the women's music fraternity) to eventually becoming the Student Government Association Vice President, I was learning vital leadership skills that I still use to this day. 

While student leadership was a big part of my time at Loyola, internships in the music industry were an equal part of it. Due to Loyola's small class sizes, professors would encourage me to apply for internships that they felt I would benefit from. I was able to apply what I was learning in my classes at Loyola directly to my internships, from live sound and recording at Jazz Fest to artist management with local area musicians. Ultimately, from doing these internships, I landed a full-time job as the Venue Manager for the world-famous Preservation Hall, and I eventually worked to help them start their non-profit, the Preservation Hall Foundation.

In addition to the classroom and real-world training, I also had the opportunity to hone my skills as a musician. I was able to take lessons from Greg Miller (principal trombonist for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra) and improve on my musicianship daily. Professors recommended me for gigs within the community, which led to performing with Allen Toussaint and Aretha Franklin! Today, I still continue to perform with my own ensembles, Marina Orchestra and the Asylum Chorus, while picking-up gigs throughout New Orleans. 

All of the work that I have done, and that I continue to do, I thank Loyola for. It's a place that ultimately taught me the skills I needed to find the job I wanted.