Posted December 10, 2011

Faces of Temple: Julia Alford-Fowler

Faces of Temple: Julia Alford-Fowler

Faces of Temple: Julia Alford-Fowler

Year: Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree candidate, fifth year

School: Boyer College of Music and Dance

Major: Music composition

Home town: Originally from Mundelein, Ill.; Philadelphia resident for nine years

Why I chose Temple: "One thing that makes Boyer's music composition program different is that there are strong performers on site. As a composer, that's a big asset. I can walk down the hall and find someone to play my music. If you're working on new techniques, it's good to have someone around to experiment with, and I've made contacts with performers that will last me my whole life. But a lot of programs that have strong performance components don't necessarily emphasize academics. Temple is the best of both worlds. I've done more than write music; I've learned how to be an academic and how to do research. It has made me a really well-rounded scholar."

Transformative moment: "There are two things. The first is my experience as a teaching assistant. I taught "Music Theory" lab for four years, and I loved it. I can be having the worst day in the world, and I feel so much better after teaching. The experience solidified for me that I do not want to be just a composer, I also want to be a teacher."

"At the request of a friend who's an accordionist, I started looking into klezmer music [traditional central and eastern European Jewish dance music]. It was a whole new direction for me. There are so many klezmer musicians in Philadelphia and New York who you can get ideas and ask for coaching from. This summer I went to Krakow, Poland — I got a dean's grant to help pay for my plane ticket — and spent time with klezmer musicians there. It's breathing new life into my music."