Senior Spotlight: Alexandra Lee Rice ’21

“Before coming to Princeton, I was torn between going to a music conservatory and pursuing an academic degree. The music certificate program at Princeton, however, has enabled me to pursue both of my passions, and it has given me the freedom to teach or to pursue further education in music in the future, should I wish to do so. Dr. Peggy Kampmeier, my piano teacher with whom I’ve worked for the entirety of my time here, has had the biggest influence on my development as a musician. Similar to my academic experience at Princeton, Dr. Kampmeier has taught me less about what to think, and more about how to think. Throughout my time here, I’ve realized that I simply can’t live a fulfilled life without interacting with music in its many forms. And the music theory, music history, and music performance courses I’ve taken as part of this program have both enriched my life and opened my eyes to new musical avenues I can pursue post-graduation.”

Alexandra Lee Rice, from St. Louis, MO, is a senior in the Economics Department, pursuing certificates in Political Economy and Piano Performance. While researching the effect of undergraduate student loan debt on occupation-education mismatch, she has been an active member of the Princeton Pianists Ensemble and Opus Chamber Music Ensemble.  Before coming to Princeton, these simultaneous passions for music and economics led Alexandra to question whether she wanted to attend music conservatory or to pursue an academic degree. She found that the university environment allowed her to pursue her musical studies in a highly individualized manner, while teaching her how to balance her academic and musical pursuits—a lesson that she is eager to apply after graduation whether through teaching on weekends or playing chamber music while balancing a full-time job. And one day, she hopes to compete in the Van Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition! 

Most listened-to tracks: Chopin Barcarolle Op. 60; Rachmaninov Preludes; Schumann Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22; Satie Parade, Ravel L’enfant et les Sortileges

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