Tessa Babcock '13, Belmont University
Tessa Babcock '13 always had a hunch that she would pursue music in college. Her mother was a musical theater major and her father a professional trumpeter for the Naval Academy, so music was an integral part of her childhood. While at Bryn Mawr, Tessa was a member of Dayseye, the selective junior and senior singing group.
Tell me about your college search process.
When I first started looking at colleges, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do—I really like music, so I thought that I would do something musical. There was a student who graduated last year, Julia Barron, who is interested in the same things that I am, so I asked her for advice about where to look. One of the schools that Julia suggested was Belmont University, and I really liked it. In October we went and visited it, and I thought it seemed like such a cool school. Afterward my mom told me that I looked really happy and excited when we toured the campus, and I knew that that was where I wanted to go.
What sparked your interest in music?
My mom was a musical theater major and my dad is a professional trumpeter for the Naval Academy, so music has always been in my family. All of my siblings play an instrument, and I grew up playing piano, trumpet and now guitar. I’ve always been a singer too. I’ve just lived with music and grown up with music, so I couldn’t really see myself not doing something with music. I know that being a professional singer is very challenging, and I don’t think I want to go that route, so I’ve been looking for something similar. I’ll be majoring in music business with a double major in entrepreneurship, so this way I’ll be able to start my own business. My goal is to one day have my own record company and produce a variety of music.
What are some of the extracurriculars you'd like to do in college?
At Belmont there are a lot of bands, singing ensembles and a cappella groups, so I'd like to join one of those hopefully. I’m going to audition to minor in vocal performance, so that could help open doors to some of the singing groups. I’m also thinking about joining the track team and throwing the shot put and the discus, like I did at Bryn Mawr. They also have a skydiving club, which could be really cool, and a Quidditch team. I want to find some fun, different things to do.
What is the thing that you will miss the most about Bryn Mawr?
I’m really going to miss the Senior Room. There are so many different groups of people in there that I wouldn’t have spent time with had they not been in the Senior Room. It really brought everyone together, and it was awesome.
Tell me about a class that you’ve taken at Bryn Mawr that you found really challenging, or where you learned something you didn’t expect to.
The first semester of my senior year I took an elective called Engineering our Energy Future with Ms. Cheikh, and it was really interesting. We did labs that taught me a lot about sustainable energy, and not just that I should recycle, but what happens when I recycle. I also really enjoyed Memoirs, taught by Ms. Schaffner. I’m usually such a picky reader, and I’ve never thought of memoirs as a good topic. But it was really inspiring reading the books that she chose for the class, and we talked a lot about identity and what shapes us. Both of those classes really opened me up to areas I hadn’t thought about before.
What was it like to be in Dayseye (the selective junior and senior singing group)?
I love Dayseye. I remember that when I toured Bryn Mawr in eighth grade they were performing at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Assembly, and I was so amazed by how good they were. I was really excited to audition when I got old enough, since I’ve always loved singing. I love [Dayseye director] Dr. Shirk too—she’s such an awesome teacher. Just being here and being in this amazing singing group was such a good experience. I learned a lot about music and it was cool to see how many different types of music we could do as a group.
What’s your favorite tradition at Bryn Mawr?
I love on Spirit Day when the underclassmen make a tunnel and all the seniors run through. It’s not even about being a senior, but just that everyone is there together. I love this community.