(B.A. Religious Studies, B.M. Music, ’10)

My musical journey is not one of individual achievement, but rather a collective experience of success, failure, and determination. Music not only helped me develop a talent I had, but it kept me focused. It kept me out of trouble, it helped me appreciate the time, dedication, and belief my parents had in me, and it helped me develop discipline, patience, and persistence. These are qualities that exude in all other aspects of my life. (Editor’s note: To read more about her backstory, visit the Summer 2009 issue of Stritch Magazine. Chang is featured in the cover story).

Instruments:

Piano and keyboard

Favorite band/musician/composer:

My favorite composers include Chopin, Schubert, and Rachmaninoff. My favorite contemporary artists include Michael Bublé and John Mclauglin.

Favorite song:

This is a very difficult question since I have so many favorite songs. I recently started taking some jazz piano classes and really enjoy it! I’ve fallen in love with standard jazz classics such as “Misty” written by Erroll Garner.

Earliest music memory:

I remember seeing my dad play the guitar as a young toddler. I didn’t understand how he was playing the guitar, but I enjoyed listening to it.

Memorable gig:

Last May I performed in the 2nd Hmong Music Festival held in Fresno, Calif. It was a collaborative project that brought together many Hmong musicians, artists, and fashion designers from all over the country. This event was extremely memorable not only because of the celebration of music in the Hmong community, but because of the dedication and passion I put into making it happen with my team. I was working full time, finishing my master’s degree at DePaul University in Chicago, commuting weekly from Milwaukee to Chicago for classes, and traveling to California monthly for rehearsals and preparation. The hard work paid off; the festival was a success!

I also co-presented a workshop with Nao Vang, a prominent jazz guitarist in the Hmong community at the 2013 Hmong National Development Conference in Fresno. We presented a workshop on the importance of formal music education in the Hmong community. It was very well received.

Day job:

Aside from being a church and community musician, I have other goals and endeavors I’m continuing to pursue. I have always wanted to work in the non-profit field with organizations that focus on the greater well being of the community. Service was a key part in the mission and vision of Stritch, and it’s one I try to embrace in everything I do. I currently work at Diverse & Resilient in Milwaukee, which is a non-profit public health organization focusing on the health and well being of LGBT people in Wisconsin. I hope to continue expanding my experiences throughout different non-profit organizations.

Future goals:

I hope to continue developing as a musician in other avenues, such as jazz piano. I would also love to do humanitarian work overseas.

Stritch music memories:

My favorite was having the occasional music theory class at Starbucks. It was a great way to start the morning!

Ongoing Stritch connections:

Absolutely! I have made lifelong friends at Stritch and have stayed connected to the faculty, not only on a professional level but also as friends.