Music is everywhere, and a huge part of our lives whether we know it or not. Juliana Johnson knows it, and has made every effort to spread the joy that it has created for her, to others.
Johnson is a senior at Valparaiso University. She graduates in May with a degree in music education.
“Everyone has an emotional connection to music. It has the power to bring everyone closer together,” Johnson said. “Music is a great outlet for me and I want to be able to give my students the same feeling it gives me.”
Despite her passion for music, Johnson didn't start at Valpo in the music department. She originally declared biology as her major and later decided she wanted to do something she was more passionate about, so she switched to music.
“Music has such a big impact on my life, I decided that it is something I should strive for, and I’ve never wanted to look back since.”
Johnson came to Valparaiso from Rockford, Illinois, and she immediately felt connected to the school and the town. She fell in love with the downtown area and felt such strong support from the faculty, even when meeting them for the first time. She spends as much time as she can shopping downtown and enjoying the lights around the holidays. Picking Valparaiso was an easy choice and has led to such a great experience, with many more to come.
“The town has a great warm and welcoming feeling to it,” Johnson said. “My college career has been filled with so many great opportunities and experiences, it has been such a fulfilling experience.”
Those experiences include making lifelong friends and lots of performances. Johnson has played in quite a few concerts in Valpo, and even as far away as Millennium Park in Chicago. She has also had the chance to travel to China, which she states as one of the peaks of her college experience. One performance sticks out.
“We got to perform the Lord of the Rings Symphony in the Chapel of Resurrection and it was a blast,” Johnson said. “Johan De Meij conducted us and more than 1,000 people were there. It was unforgettable.
Johnson's instrument is the clarinet, which she has been playing since the 5th grade. In her spare time, she tries to teach herself a new instrument. Johnson student teaches in Portage, and plans to start the next phase of her life here.
“I don't think there is anywhere else I want to be. I want to stay in Northwest Indiana for as long as I can,” she said.