Elsa Dougherty

The first Lewis & Clark orchestra concert really blew me away.

Elsa Dougherty ?20



Degree and Class Year

BA ’20


Flushing, Michigan





What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Curious, Maggie’s, accepting

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

I couldn’t pick a favorite class. What’s really great about being a music major is that all my classes work together. So for example, what I am learning in my Theory I class with Lance Inouye helps me in my piano lessons because now I am starting to see the whole puzzle (so to speak), whereas before I was just dealing with one piece at a time. Another example is Professor Nora Beck’s History of Western Music class. Throughout the semester we have been discussing early music and it’s so cool because I get to learn about it in her class and then actually sing it in another!

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The small and beautiful campus really pulled me in. I also had a really positive experience when I came to audition for a music scholarship which was the ultimate decision maker for me.

Why did you choose to be photographed in the music section of the library?

I chose to be photographed in the music section of the library because that was the first place where I felt like a real college student. My first big paper was on Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and I remember spending hours in that section scanning book after book, just literally sitting right in the middle of the aisle with books piled around me, and it was such a great time.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Don’t be afraid to go for what you want, take charge of your own life. Opportunities aren’t just going to fall into your lap.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

My bed.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

The sign at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. It’s so snazzy and festive!

What’s your best Lewis & Clark memory so far?

The first Lewis & Clark orchestra concert really blew me away. One of the pieces they played was Night on Bald Mountain and I remember just repeatedly hitting my friend’s knee and grabbing her arm (Sorry, Allie!) because it was so good. That piece is such a bop anyway but they played it so well and I just couldn’t contain my excitement! I remember going up to my friend, who is a really excellent trombone player, and hugging him and congratulating him repeatedly because I was so amazed. We barely knew each other at that point but luckily he didn’t think I was too weird and we ended up becoming really good friends!

How do you manage stress?

A few Red Vines and a good jam sesh always help me.

Do you have a job on campus? If so, how do you fit work into your schedule?

Yes, I actually have two jobs on campus and one off campus. On campus I work in the registrar’s office (i.e., the best office) and take notes for a committee that meets weekly. Off campus, I have a job singing in the choir at St. James Lutheran Church. Fitting these jobs into my schedule was a challenge at first but like everything else, once I found my rhythm and got used to a busy schedule, it just worked. Also, I’m really fortunate to have great supervisors at all my jobs who make going to work enjoyable. When you can have fun at work it doesn’t seem like a chore!