Marjorie Garces loves Music. She says she always wanted to learn more about music performance so when an opportunity presented itself at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana for her to come and study about her passion she was thrilled about the possibilities. "I'm from Chile South America and I've been interested in music my whole life and I never had the chance to practice, to focus completely on it. I know a lot of theory, but I couldn't practice much and that was my main motivation and that was my first option when I graduated from high school, but i didn't have enough money," she says.
"Back home I had to choose another major, but now that I am a part of this foundation and I knew about Dillard University I had to take this opportunity and come here."
Marjorie is apart of a program called the Melton Foundation. She says her university back
home along with Dillard University came together to sponsor the program. "I decided to come
to the United States because I am apart of a program that is sponsored by my university back home and this university here that's called the Melton Foundation," she says.
"The Melton Foundation is a program of international, intercultural training that has partnership with five universities in the world there is one in the United States, Dillard University that is the only one in the United States, one in Germany, one in India, another one in China and one which is Universidad de La Frontera that is my university back home in Chile".
Along with being a vocal performance major and participating in other activities, Marjorie is working on a research project that focuses on obesity. She says both in her country and
here in America, there are many similarities. "I'm doing a research with a professor in
Education about obesity and the comparison of curriculum from here and my country because it is very similar because the city and the curriculum the curriculum in Physical Education (PE) classes is being shortened here and back home too. The PE classes are not very important in curriculum so I was going to compare that because the rate of obesity in children is increasing and in my country it is higher than here, the percentage of children of obesity," she says.
"I am still working with the Melton Foundation on this campus so we have weekly meetings and also I participated in the concert choir and I participate with the Institute of Jazz and I participate in any physical activity on campus."
One experience to remember says Marjorie is the reunion of the five universities affiliated with the Melton Foundation performing at Dillard. "We had a reunion here at Dillard with the Melton Foundation. So everyone from the five countries and the members from the Melton Foundation came to Dillard University for one week and we with the concert choir at Dillard, we performed and it was great to feel one of them and to participate with them and to have kind of the same background because I already had listened to those sounds back home and to sing that here was really awesome and something that I've never thought I do. So the feeling of home that I could live here was amazing."
Marjorie will return back home to Chile to graduate in May, but when asked about her
experience at Dillard, she says... "Back home I'm a Senior and an Education major because
that was the major that I had to choose because they didn't have the opportunity to study
music performance, but at Dillard University I've learned so much. I've learned more music
theory that I already know, but I learn how to know my instrument, my voice at a more deeper level and I have learned how to control my voice in performance.
So it has been a great experience and a big learning experience, and it is something that I
will consider in the future because this was one of the talents that I had and I haven't developed well so it was something that I had to do. It was like a responsibility that I had
with myself to do this."