Student Profile: Isaac Gotlieb
November 14, 2018
Too often, passions are deserted amidst a busy life. For Isaac Gotlieb, senior, his passion is not only practiced in his freetime, but incorporated into his school days.
A handful of Hopkins students apply to do part time PSEO at local colleges like the University of Minnesota, Concordia and Bethel. Gotlieb has been going to the University of Minnesota to play bassoon since his junior year.
“I am in two bands at the University of Minnesota. One is a symphonic band, composed mostly of music students who are non performance majors. The other is a wind ensemble with just the opposite profile of students,” Gotlieb said.
Gotlieb started playing bassoon in ninth grade as he sought a new challenge and difference from his original instrument, the saxophone. He applied to the PSEO program based off of merit and then did a live audition for admittance into the music program. He currently plays alongside four other bassoon players; three graduate students and one other PSEO student.
“I was apart of the Hopkins band program between grades 5-10. I knew the University needed extra Bassoonists, so I was confident in my ability to join the music program. I have access to amazing music resources and free lessons that would otherwise be very expensive now,” Gotlieb said.
Gotlieb is also involved in a youth orchestra that has allowed him to play at local venues such as Orchestra Hall and even overseas in Europe. This past summer, his youth orchestra toured Berlin and played in Krakow and Budapest.
“The performances I shared with my youth orchestra on this trip stick out to me because we connected well with the audience despite the language barrier,” Gotlieb said.
Gotlieb is not only a talented musician, but a dedicated student with his eyes set on medical school. He is not entirely sure how his music career will play out, but he does know he never wants his passion to be lost.
“I hope to be able to major in a science field while either double majoring in Bassoon performance or studying it seriously on the side,” Gotlieb said.
Gotlieb reflects on his time as a musician and compares his experiences to that of an athlete at HHS. He finds clear incentives and rewards for athletes, such as pep rallies and the Athena/ Apollo awards, while nothing of the type exists for musicians.
“Musicians have to find all their motivation from within. I have had numerous music teachers who have motivated me to get better, but our school culture, and society as a whole doesn’t value us,” Gotlieb said.