2019 Grads Share Fine Arts Stories

August 13, 2019 9:21 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

Arts Quincy would love to have your nominations for students to feature in this new column, Student Spotlight, sponsored by WGEM. Email a photo and information to office@artsquincy.org or call 217-222-3432 for details. We look forward to featuring student artists in all disciplines from Adams County.


2019 Grads Share Fine Arts Stories

Hello everybody, my name is Taylor Tweedell and I am Arts Quincy’s Summer 2019 Intern. One of my favorite parts of this internship is getting to work with local arts organizations that impacted my decision to pursue a college degree in dance. Several 2019 high school graduates from Quincy are also pursuing their interests in the arts this fall, and they wanted to share a part of their story with you!

Below you will find stories on Bri Vogel, Josef Lawler, Carrie Terford, Benjamin Makins and Brad Eston. 

Every one of these stories has been shaped by the people and experiences within the Quincy artistic community. Thank you to all who have encouraged Quincy students over the years to follow their passions in the arts. If you are not already, get plugged in to a local arts organization to begin impacting others and to become inspired yourself!

Bri Vogel


University and Major:
University of Iowa, majoring in Dance and Psychology Dream Job: Dance therapist

What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Many people in Quincy were and continue to be supportive of my goals, but the greatest impact came from my mother, Malinda Vogel. Whether it was driving me to lessons, doing my hair for recitals, or cheering in the audience, her encouragement has been unwavering. When it came time to decide on a major for college, she pushed me to keep dance in my life. While others doubted my ability to major in dance, my mother believed in me and helped me find the motivation within myself to pursue my passion.

What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? All four years of high school, I was a member of QHS Pom. My senior year, I had the opportunity to be a captain of the squad. Some responsibilities my co-captain and I shared were choreographing and teaching routines. This experience helped me to realize that I enjoy teaching and I find the creative aspect of choreography interesting. This realization opened my eyes to how many different opportunities there are in the dance world besides performing. I was inspired after seeing the many ways I could pursue a career in dance.

Josef Lawler


University and Major:
Lindenwood University, majoring in Cinema Arts Dream Job: Film Director or Producer

What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Megan Buckley and Kathi Dooley have shown me how to express myself in the arts and create things that are beyond imagination.

What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? In High School, theatre had the greatest impact on my decision. It helped teach me that acting is a gateway to emotional release. When you get to pretend to be someone else, take on the full persona, and ignore real life, acting shows you who you truly are. That love for theatre and fine arts pushed me to pursue a film degree.

Carrie Terford


University and Major:
Lindenwood University, majoring in Cinema Arts Dream Job: Casting Director or Talent Agent

What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? My parents have had the greatest impact on my decision to go into the arts. From a young age they would take me to many live concerts, musicals, plays, puppet shows at the library, and of course, movies. They encouraged me to make music a part of my life.

What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Thanks to the encouragement of my parents, I played cello in the pit orchestra for QHS musicals during high school. I had to sit in on countless rehearsals and run throughs, and that made me realize how much I loved seeing a production in the making. From then on, I decided I wanted to be a part of that process rather than just watch it happen. Combined with my love for film, I've decided to study Cinema Arts.

Benjamin Makins



University, Major:
University of Iowa, majoring in Music Performance/Music Education
Dream Job: Professor of Horn at a university or college

What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Kathi Dooley because without seeing her passion for music and the arts, I don’t know if I would’ve stayed in the music department in high school or if I would’ve grown to have as great of a passion for the arts as I do now.

What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp was definitely the experience that set me on a direct path to becoming a music major. Surrounding myself with others who had the same passion for music that I did was the perfect environment to get in the mindset of a future in music.

Brad Eston


University and Major:
McKendree University, majoring in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis
Dream Job: High School Band Director

What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? There were two people, Mr. Gass and Mr. Gabriel. They both pushed me to be better not only musically but also as a leader.

What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Marching band had the greatest impact on my decision to major in Music Education. I chose this path after I became drum major, which is when I realized how much I loved conducting and leading a band.


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