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Musical Broncos abroad

Kam JaCoby conducting student orchestra
Conductor Kam JaCoby, a Master in Music Education graduate, now works as a music educator.

In June 2022, Zach Buie, assistant professor of trumpet and music history, accompanied four Boise State undergraduate and graduate music students to the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda for a week-long residency with the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Boise State became involved with the organization when its leaders invited Buie to help develop its brass program. Under the leadership of Buie and Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill, Antigua and Barbuda’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and the orchestra’s founder, the partnership grew.

As guest artists, Boise State students teach music lessons, conduct rehearsals and perform while developing leadership skills.

Kate Nettles, a violist and senior music education major from Boise, was one of the program’s first residents.

“Getting to work with the students is an experience I will never forget. Being on that beautiful island with such gifted and excited musicians reminded me why music is so important. It can connect
everyone and inspire anyone to find joy in life,” Nettles said. “I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Buie and to Boise State for allowing me such an amazing experience.”

Buie said he delighted in seeing his students “become more culturally responsive teachers in real time.”

“Each of the Boise State students thrived in this environment and learned how they could positively impact a largely underserved community,” he said.

Plans are in the works for Boise State to return to the Caribbean in 2024.

By Rachel Reeves