November 14, 2017 by
On left: Tasha Jost '20 plays trumpet at age 8 in a parade on Veterans Day. On right: Tasha Jost '20 poses in her white coat during her first year as a medical student at the UVM Larner College of Medicine.
Advised by Professor of Psychiatry Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., the Music Student Interest Group (SIG) not only provides musically-inclined medical students with an opportunity to connect with liked-minded classmates and faculty, but also a way for them to explore the link between music and medicine as it pertains to a burgeoning area of research in neuroscience that focuses on the same connection.
Tasha Jost '20, current Music SIG leader, initially joined the group because she wanted to continue her 16-year-long commitment to music. A trumpet player since she was eight years old, Jost received a BA in Music Performance from the University of New Hampshire in 2015. When she entered medical school in 2016, she was determined to keep playing, despite the heavy workload.
"Being in medical school does not mean giving up other activities that you love," she says, "and the Music SIG is an opportunity to continue exploring the benefits that a musical life can offer."
When Jost took over leadership of the SIG this year, she contributed an exciting new addition to the group - the creation of the first-ever Larner College of Medicine Women's Choir. The group, which consists of sixteen medical students, faculty, and staff members, performed live for one of the first times at an Open Mic Night hosted by the Music SIG on Thursday, November 9.
The initial turnout for the event was impressive and grew as the night progressed. Passersby, enticed by the sound of music and spoken word performances drifting down the halls of the Given and Health Research Science Facility buildings, stopped and joined the audience to appreciate the work of the talented musicians and poets.
The Women's Choir kicked off the event with a piece by John McCrae, M.D., author of "In Flanders Fields," accompanied by music from Jon Jacobsen and Roger Emerson, and followed up with a plucky tune by Robert I. Hugh, called "The Cuckoo."
The night continued with a number of performers and performances, including:
- Nick Haslett '21, who performed a mandolin mash up of Townes Van Zandt's "Colorado Bound" and The Band's "Ophelia";
- Jordan Munger '21, who gave a violin performance of "Largo in F sharp minor" by Veracini;
- Izzy Kratzner '20, Nikki Becher '21, and Jost, who sang “Parting Glass,” an Irish Folk Song arranged by the Wailin’ Jennys, followed by “White Flag,” by the band Joseph;
- Mico Nilo '20, who recited a poem he wrote called "Celestial";
- Collin York '20, who played guitar and sang "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Neil Young and "Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Radiohead;
- Alexis Nadeau '20, Laura Till '20, and Zara Bowden '20, who played guitar, fiddle, and shakers while singing the Wailin Jennys' "Something to Hold onto";
- Nadeau, who sang Etta James' "At Last";
- Raghav Goyal '21, who performed a spoken word piece he wrote about some of his apprehensions regarding medical school. titled, "What Motivates You";
- Michael Weber '21, who sang Cher's "Believe," accompanied by Stephanie Udawatta '21 on piano;
- Collin Anderson '21, who sang Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," and Coldplay's "Warning Sign," backed up by Munger on ukulele.
Scott Mitchell closed the night by playing a traditional Spanish song, "Romance de Amor," on his guitar, followed by "Superman" by the band Five for Fighting.
Jost was pleased with the turnout and is excited to see how the Music SIG grows and expands over the next couple of years. She's also hopeful that the Larner College of Medicine Women's Choir will continue on, even without her at the helm as she travels around the country for her Clerkship year starting in March 2018.
This December, the Womens Choir plans to spread holiday cheer in the form of carol singing in the halls of the University of Vermont Medical Center and the College.