My Winthrop Experience

Name: Jennifer Deudkoontod '08
Residence: Columbia, South Carolina
Degree: Music education (BME, MM, MAFP)
Occupation: Music educator

When Jennifer Brown Deudkoontod ˜08 performed as a student in Spain with the Winthrop Wind Ensemble, she was fueled by wanderlust.

Now she has big dreams some day of performing all over the world, in particular Brazil.

"My original career goals were to play cartoon music in a professional symphony, in Brazil. However, I have modified them slightly for now, until my kids are out of school, to teaching and performing. Later, I will go back to school and continue to teach and perform maybe in Brazil," Deudkoontod said.

For now, Deudkoontod spends her days teaching orchestra and as the principal clarinetist in the Florence Symphony Orchestra.

"My day-to-day life entails teaching, practicing and enjoying mommy life," she said.

As a music education major (bachelor's and master's) at Winthrop, Deudkoontod took full advantage of building relationships with people inside and outside of the classroom who helped her map out her career path.

"My experience at Winthrop not only taught me how to engage better in the classroom, but it helped me to reinforce the ideas that I was able to accomplish, literally, anything I set my mind to," she said. "I learned so much and I am grateful for our paths crossing to help pave my current one," she added.

Former and current College of Visual and Performing Arts professors like - Lorrie Crochet, Tomoko Deguchi, Phil Thompson, Daniel Gordon, Connie Hale, Hilary Yost, Bill Malambri, and Donald Rogers — helped Deudkoontod understand that she could make a living from the arts.

"I had the most fantastic teachers active performers and lecturers from around the world. They helped me realize how much I could truly enjoy my career, regardless of whether it were teaching or performing and now I get to do both," she said.

Her biggest joy is furthering the love of music and the arts in young people.

"[I enjoy] instilling the love of music in every person I meet, or hears me play and fostering that same love in my children," she said.

You can catch Deudkoontod performing upcoming holiday concerts with the Florence Symphony Orchestra. One of her yuletide favorites: "O Holy Night."