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Lindsay Studer: Creating Order from Chaos

“These student-run events are my favorites, because they require collaboration among the talented individuals on campus.”

It was total chaos. Lindsay Studer ’13 was simultaneously mixing sound for a band, managing 11 wireless microphones for the actors in the comedy show, and preparing to act in the final sketch. She dove in, figuring out problems on the fly, her confidence building as the night wore on.

Somehow she pulled it off. The event was a success. And at that moment she knew the answer to the question that haunts many college students: “Am I in the right major?”

As Studer recalls, “It was complete chaos, and I loved every minute of it.”

Lindsay Studer and pals

That ability to bring order to chaos—and to make other people look and sound good—means Studer is in demand for a variety of campus events. She has volunteered her technical skills for other student performances, including Campus Sing and appearances by the folk band The Cowgill Tippers. When not applying her technical skills, Studer performs with the Transylvania Singers and works with a student-led dance organization.

All of those activities reinforce the feeling of community that Studer has embraced since she made an overnight visit as a high school student. She wasn’t sure if Transylvania was for her, but the closeness she sensed among the students on campus, combined with the option of a music technology major, convinced Studer to enroll.

As part of her work-study on campus, Studer apprenticed with Devon Query and Sue Garrison, the technical coordinators in Transylvania’s Mitchell Fine Arts Building. Through them, she met other lighting and sound technicians in the Lexington area.

In spring 2012, Query recommended her for the position of sound tech for a performance of Seussical the Musical Jr. produced by the Academy for Creative Excellence (ACE Academy), the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s preparatory performing arts program for school-aged students. Studer worked with a cast of exceptionally talented children who are building resumes for a shot at Broadway. That environment created lots of challenges, but Studer professes, “It was the most fun I’ve had working on a show.”

Safiyyah RasoolStuder has also spent two summers assisting the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) as part of her work-study with Garrison. In 2012, she met dancer Safiyyah Rasool when she came to campus to present a "hip-hop day" for the GSA students. After GSA ended, Rasool contacted Studer to fill a spot as a hip-hop choreographer for Rasool’s Hip Hop Dance Camp at the Kentucky Center in Louisville. Said Studer, “I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to make up dances and teach them to these kids!”

In addition to all of these activities on campus, Studer spent fall term 2011 at Regents American College in London. While there, she took regular classes in art and business as well as a non-credit course called Contemporary Music in London, a history of jazz and rock and roll in England. She also traveled to five other countries.

Her experiences broadened her perspective in ways she hadn’t fully envisioned. “I would recommend study abroad to every single student.”

Studer believes those experiences and connections will help her build a successful career. 

She also notes that her advisor, music professor Timothy Polashek, has offered practical advice and encouragement that reassured her when her confidence in her skills or her choice of a major wavered. “I think what makes advisors a real asset to their students is the level of comfort the student has when talking to them.”

Whether she’s backstage ready to perform or in the darkness of the sound booth, Studer knows now she has what it takes to make sure the show goes on.

Left: Safiyyah Rasool performs at her Hip Hop Dance Camp
as Lindsay Studer offers encouragement from the crowd.

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