– by Dwayne Peterkin II (’17)
Katherine Sebastian (’16), a senior from Moorestown, N.J., won the award for outstanding performance by a singer in the Giles Harris Competitions for the second straight year.
The Christopher Giles and Lucille S. Harris Competitions in Musical Performance began in 1977 at Wake Forest. The first competitions provided for a single cash prize in each of two categories. That has expanded to eight prizes awarded annually, leading to some of the best student performances of the academic year. Judges are musicians from outside of the university.
Aside from being musically talented, Sebastian is pursuing her degree in business and enterprise management with a marketing concentration at the School of Business. She still maintains music as a passion that she would like to see remain part of her life.
“I didn’t expect to win again, but it is definitely an honor,” she said. “In order to keep music in my life, I had to make it a priority. That is where the business school side of me crosses over with the music. I had to be scheduled and make time for things and that has worked out. The hardest part is that sometimes finals end up overlapping with concert season.”
Sebastian is also involved in a variety of activities on campus. She works as a barista at the university’s student-run coffee shop, Campus Grounds, and also has served for 2.5 years as president of Innuendo, an acapella group on campus. She’s used her marketing education to benefit the acapella group.
“The biggest key to it all is communication,” she said. “It isn’t about being able to do everything and stressing yourself out. You have to balance things. It has also been really nice to break the stereotype that business-school students are one-dimensional. Music has been able to help me a lot in business and vice versa.”
After graduation, Sebastian hopes to keep music as a part of her life. She wants to combine her passion for music with her business education and pursue a career in the music industry. She also has considered working in an ad agency.
Name: David Yang
Major: Math & Music
Class Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Beijing, China