ASU honors graduate to tour nationally as skilled violinist

March 6, 2023

Felix Herbst was of two minds when he was contemplating about attending Arizona Condition College.

He started out actively playing violin at the age of 7 and beloved the creativity that came with mastering various musical types. He also experienced a love of science and its challenges. &#13
Felix Herbst holding a violin with music equipment on a table in front of him.&#13
Felix Herbst, a 2019 ASU honors graduate, is dependent in Boston and performs as a violinist. Photograph courtesy Felix Herbst&#13
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He blended these passions as an undergraduate double-main in violin effectiveness and molecular bioscience and biotechnology. He also was a scholar in Barrett, The Honors School at ASU.

Herbst is initially from Holzgerlingen, Germany, and grew up in Santa Rosa, California. He graduated ASU in 2019 wondering he would go the scientific route, but alternatively chose to go after a musical job.

Now he is based mostly in Boston and performs as a marriage violinist and DJ in New England, on recording and arranging jobs, in displays with other musical artists and on freelance gigs.

He at present is a violinist in the pit orchestra for the nationwide tour of “Fiddler on the Roof,” generated by NETworks Shows. The tour will take him all over the United States and Canada right up until mid-Could.

We caught up recently with Herbst, who was on a tour bus, to get his recollections about encounters at ASU that led him to exactly where he is now. Here’s what he had to say.

Dilemma: How did you decide to attend ASU and Barrett?

Solution: To be trustworthy, I experienced no notion approaching the stop of substantial faculty where I preferred to go. I had utilized to 20 schools and ASU was not on my radar until I identified out that my National Benefit Scholarship would grant me full tuition there. Barrett invited me to tour the campus and I took a trial violin lesson with my professor-to-be, Dr. Katherine McLin, and I loved both, so resolved on the location I would go there.

 holding a violin and smiling against a blue background.

Felix Herbst

Q: How did you come to a decision on your big/insignificant?

A: New music has generally been a part of my daily life, and at a specific issue I understood that if I loved it so a lot, I really should give it a shot and attempt to make a job of it. Soon after my first semester, the science-y component of my brain felt understimulated and I missed that form of mastering process a great deal, so I decided to include a 2nd degree path in molecular bioscience and biotechnology (MBB). Residing methods at the cellular and molecular degree have normally fascinated me and MBB appeared like a terrific diploma path with adequate overall flexibility in electives to build an interesting curriculum.

Q: You finished an honors thesis titled “Finding Place: A Modern day Violinist’s Part Explored by means of EP” with McLin as your thesis director and thesis committee member Samuel Pena from the ASU College of Songs. Can you give a lot more specifics about it?

A: My honor’s thesis served two needs. To start with, as a present day violinist and musician intrigued in a lot of designs of tunes over and above classical and even uncomplicated fiddle or jazz playing, I experienced appear to understand that my niche and operate in the musical earth was not really outlined. It was pretty tricky at times to figure out how to come across resourceful achievement accomplishing with and for other artists in the conventional roles often assigned to string gamers, and I wished to extend past that and see what I could arrive up with for myself to build and perform if it ended up entirely up to me.

The second, and frankly far more major reason, was to use the structured thesis approach to pressure myself to produce and publicly release music. I have struggled for a extended time with a concern of becoming creatively vulnerable, with harmful perfectionism and thus with procrastination of actually expressing myself publicly by way of my music. By using the thesis to dedicate to generating this EP and releasing at least one particular of the songs publicly, I was in a position to generate a little something I am quite very pleased of and deliver myself to share it with the world. The piece I produced, “Wadsworth,” is offered on Spotify.  

Q: What have you been executing given that you graduated?

A: Write-up-graduation has been a roller coaster! The 7 days of finals, I got a call to fly to New York City to do a exhibit with Alicia Keys, so I scrambled to consider all my finals early, played the clearly show and came back for my graduation ceremony. Immediately after expending a few months in Arizona mountaineering a lot, experiencing some free time and sleeping a ton, I moved to Boston two times just before what finished up currently being the starting of the (novel coronavirus) pandemic. I experienced expended a calendar year in the center of my undergrad attending Berklee University of Music out there and liked it, so needed to return. I experienced applied to a number of science lab work there but determined I would go the freelance musician route.

Q: How did ASU and Barrett get ready you for the “Fiddler on the Roof” tour practical experience?

A: My time at ASU/Barrett well prepared me for this tour in myriad means. My advancement of my technical faculties at the Herberger Faculty of Audio, my practical experience doing the job with each other with a wide wide range of musicians and persona varieties, and the opportunities I obtained to enjoy in the pit in musicals at ASU ended up invaluable to creating me really feel confident and cozy on this tour.

Q: How would you characterize your undergraduate honors working experience?

A: Currently being in the honors college or university as an undergraduate permitted for the sensation of a scaled-down, tighter-knit neighborhood inside of the enormous establishment that is Arizona Condition. Likewise to how my science degree helped fill some of the intellectual needs I was experience when I was just starting up the tunes main, Barrett added for me another layer of challenge, dedication and stimulation on best of my academic encounter. Also, Barrett granted me accessibility to honors funding for factors like my thesis that opened doorways for me creatively and practically. And further than lecturers, I can say that the mates I manufactured in my 1st couple of several years of Barrett are some of the ideal people today I know to this day.

Q: What advice would you give to college students nevertheless in ASU/Barrett?

A: Staying on the other side of undergrad, and no for a longer time in just an academic institution, it strikes me what an outstanding useful resource a spot like ASU/Barrett can be if you take from it what you want and require. The faculty is there for you, so in the cherished time you have there, make it perform for you. Choose advantage of funding, of advice, of connections with folks, of services, of all those things that surround you now but may well hardly ever be available to you once again a couple decades down the line.

Q: If you had been talking with a potential university student, what would you say?

A: ASU is a location with an incredible selection of points you can get out of it. If you are hoping to make a college or university degree as immediately and with as minor college student financial debt as doable, you can make that come about here. If you are seeking to have an amazingly exciting, exhilarating time and get established on the street to a superior career, that is there for you as well. If you never quite know what you want, but want to check out out various pathways to see what sparks your interest, it’s best for that. And if you are dead established on a particular journey and you want to attract from funding, assistance and other resources to get you there, all even though having fun with a 65-degrees-Fahrenheit evening in December, there you go.&#13