Alumni Spotlight: Jerome Cole (’16)

Alumni Spotlight: Jerome Cole (’16)

Jerome Cole graduated with honors from Ave Maria University in 2016 with a double major in Physics and Music, and a minor in Mathematics. He was accepted into the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he began earning his Master of Music degree in organ performance this past fall.

While at AMU, Jerome was involved with the student club Life Runners, an on-campus division of the National LIFE Runners organization, which aims to fight for and celebrate life through running, sacrifice, community, and prayer. As a former Eagle Scout, Jerome loves any outdoor activity.

Now as a graduate student in one of the nation’s top music schools, Jerome spends much of his time inside, studying and practicing. But his heart is still set on community, service, and prayer. “My particular interest lies in the field of sacred music,” he shares. “One of my goals is to bring people closer to Christ in the Holy Eucharist through a beautiful presentation of the musical elements of the Liturgy.”

At IU Jacobs School of Music, Jerome’s favorite class is an organ literature class with Dr. Christopher Young. “We are exploring the repertoire of the Renaissance and early Baroque,” he explains, “and learning much about early organ composers and performance practices. The class is harder than history classes I have previously taken, which has pushed me to improve and take my game to the next level, so to speak.” He hopes to begin entering organ competitions soon.

Reflecting on his time at AMU, Jerome recognizes the value of having received a foundation in the liberal arts through the Core Curriculum. “The importance of the Core Curriculum at Ave cannot be overlooked,” he states. “It is hard to pinpoint exactly how it helps one, but this is not the point; the point is that it forms the individual as a human being and does not treat one as a robot… I could accurately say I would not be the person I am today without having taken Latin, Philosophy, Theology and Literature—the best that has been said and done.” In a more practical way, he goes on, the amount of writing practice received through the many paper assignments, and the quality of writing expected, has given him some of the tools necessary for professional and academic success. “Writing is a skill necessary in any field of study, and one for which both employers and professors look,” Jerome adds.

Jerome has some advice for current students looking to follow a path similar to his: set clear goals, and work hard to achieve them. “You can do just about anything if you set your mind to it; you can come from a small music program at a liberal arts college and go to graduate school at one of the best music schools in the nation. Dream big and work hard.”