This is the fourteenth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!
Name/Job Title: Jessica Hjellming, Participant Relations Coordinator
Hometown: Bolingbrook, IL
How long have you been with Music for All?
Almost 2 years. I started as an intern in the fall of 2015, and got hired on full time that December.
What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I really like the Summer Symposium. I was a camper in 2008, 2009, and 2010, so it is very neat to be on staff and know that I am helping create the same experiences for other students.
What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
The best part of my job is getting to travel across the country and meet new people. I love working with directors from all across the country, and helping them bring students to our events.
What is your musical background?
In middle school I started playing the tenor saxophone, but when I went into high school I wanted to be in the marching band. The band was filled based on seniority, and then any left-over spots would be given to the freshmen. When I found out that I wouldn’t be able to join until my sophomore year, I taught myself to play the clarinet and re-auditioned for the marching band! I then started taking lessons on both instruments and when college came around, I decided to play clarinet full time. At the University of Illinois, I was in the Marching Illini, Basketball Band, and Volleyball Band. I spent a few semesters in concert band, but I really enjoyed the athletic bands because of the atmosphere!
One thing you couldn’t live without?
What kind of music do you listen to?
I don’t really have one kind of music. I just like songs that are fun to groove to!
What do you like to do in your free time?
My husband and I started taking dance lessons before our wedding, and we loved it so much we are now regular students! Ballroom dancing is so much fun, and a great way to spend some time together!
What are you currently reading?
Now that I am FINALLY done with grad school, I am going to keep reading the book I started in January; The Book of Joy, Book by 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
What’s a show you’ve binge watched recently?
I just finished Mad Men, and now I’m going to start watching West World on HBO.
Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Well, we all know that I haven’t seen many movies, so anything I have seen, everyone else has as well……but my favorite movie is Top Gun.