Alma Bean


Music is more than what we hear, it’s an inspiration


When I was introduced to the enterprise story assignment, I knew that I would write about music in some capacity. Having a degree in music, I felt that it was only right to use my previous knowledge of music from Jacksonville University to try to educate the students at the University of Utah.

At first, I wanted to speak on music in public schools and how music should be viewed as an important part of a child’s education rather than an elective that can be replaced. As I started reaching out to multiple sources and conducting further research on the subject, it seemed as it would be difficult to write on this topic since the results varied from state to state.

The sources that I managed to contact all have a background in music — all have degrees in music from different institutions (Florida State University, University of Tennessee, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro). Though each source has a degree in music, each of them has taken their education and applied it in different ways. Sherry Blevins is a student advisor at Appalachian State University while composing music. Julian Bryson teaches choral studies at Jacksonville University while composing original music. Diana Galeano works as an office assistant while performing for two A Capella groups in her spare time.  

My change in topic came at what I assumed was a bad time since I made the change the day of my first interview over Zoom with Galeano. I decided to keep the questions that I had originally prepared and try to have a fluid conversation to see what additional questions may come up during the interview process. While speaking with Galeano, she spoke a lot about how music has influenced her life even outside of performing. After hearing her passion for music, I knew that my article needed to focus on passion rather than a call for change.

My next two interviews with Bryson and Blevins had each of them speaking on their passions before I could dive into the questions I had prepared. Bryson spoke about his sexuality and how an openly gay man on campus inspired Bryson to be open about his sexual orientation and use music as a safe space. For Blevins, her wife helped her reach out to her students and prepare for competitions through music posters they developed together.

Knowing my article had a serious approach that led to a heartwarming conversation, one that was emotionally intriguing, was a weight off my shoulders. With the amount of notes I ended up taking, it was difficult to try to cut out any information. Between the three audio files being about an hour each, plus around 40 Post-it notes of information, there was a lot of information to go through.

Going through all of those notes I had gathered, it was difficult to decide what must be left on the chopping board. Going back to the audio recordings of all three interviews really helped me decide what physical notes I decided to negate. Some of the topics felt special to each specific individual, yet each managed to touch on similar topics without being gestured in that direction.

After two weeks of creating the rough draft, I felt comfortable with submitting my article. With this article being my first, I’m excited and nervous waiting to see what the people think and hopefully the readers will be able to connect with my piece.


Alma Bean, after his final music performance at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Mali Evans.

My name is Alma Bean. I am currently a student at the University of Utah working toward my second bachelor’s degree, this time in communication with an emphasis in journalism. I currently have a bachelor’s degree in music from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. As I pursue a degree in communication, I dream to bring this emphasis of journalism to the world of sports.

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated with sports varying from football, basketball, baseball, and even swimming. My mother constantly would joke about how I am a walking, talking sports almanac.

A few months before receiving my degree from Jacksonville University, I had a lot of internal conflict on the next chapter of my life. After some self-reflecting, I decided that writing about athletes and their lives was a career change that I needed to make. Now that I have relocated to Salt Lake City, I’ve been able to do personal analysis about the Utah Jazz. Utah Sports Corner is my way of creating a portfolio while being able to track my progress as I work my way toward my degree in communication.