Sharra Wagner photo by Daniel Welch

Sharra Wagner

The liberal arts focus of the university gave me an edge among my colleagues."

Sharra Wagner photo by Daniel Welch

What are you doing now?

"Currently, I am a freelance clarinetist and pianist, a board member of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a teacher at Kansas City Kansas Community College and clarinet instructor at MidAmerica Nazarene University as well as the University of Missouri Kansas City Academy of Music and Dance."

How did your music studies at UWS help you prepare for your career?

"The liberal arts focus of the university gave me an edge among my colleagues. Most musicians who earn their DMA have a performance focus early on in their careers. I, however, had a broad and interdisciplinary experience that prepared me to write and communicate with people of all fields. My core music classes prepared me for graduate school, as I did not have to take any remedial courses and could instead dive into my program without delay. That saved me money."

What positive experiences do you remember from your time at UWS?

"The culminating trip of my undergraduate career was to Brazil, and that changed my life. The faculty inspired me to explore the world and other cultures, which has contributed to my expanding view of the world and the people in it. I also remember several faculty members going beyond what is expected by showing genuine interest and concern for me as a student and person.

"The undergraduate experience was not only about knowledge but also about discovering who I was, learning how to interact with others, how to communicate, have compassion and awaken my curiosity to know more. I use those skills every day, whether in the classroom or in applied lessons, or on the concert stage."