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Iyonna Herbert | Faces of Snow

Who are are you?

I'm Iyonna Herbert. I'm from Camden, New Jersey. You probably heard of it. If not, you should Google it. I'm a music major here at The Horne School of Music at Snow College and I'm doing the bachelor's program with an emphasis in commercial music.

What do you plan on doing after you graduate?

Afterwards, I plan on getting a masters degree in probably performance. I'm gonna go back to the East Coast. Honestly, I've always been big on HBCUs which is Historically Black College slash University, and so I wanna get that experience in, definitely, so that's important to me, and so in high school, those two were top on my list, and so I'm looking back into those, so I can at least get some time there, so.

From New Jersey to Ephraim, how did that happen?
So the summer of my senior year, I was invited here for the summer jazz fest and that fest was about, I wanna say four days long and within that fest, it's funny. I did an interview just like this, but within that, I just fell in love within like the first day. And my first day being here, I was like, "Okay, I need another day to figure this out, this is too good to be true." So I stayed the next day and I just learned so much in those first two days, "I was like yeah, this is the spot." So I went back home and this was like three weeks before school started. I was going to school in North Carolina originally, but then I went home and I was like, "Mom dad, I'm going to Utah." Yeah, they weren't too excited about that, but yeah I'm here.

When you are not in class, where would we find you?
I'm the vice president of the Black Student Union, so that takes a lot of time. I've been the vice president for three years, I've been here three years, so as soon as I got here, I was elected as VP. So, I've seen a lot, I've learned a lot it takes a lot of time, so when I'm not doing that, that's what I'm doing. I'm running around for the club trying to figure out things for us to do.

What are three things that are good about be Vice President of BSU?
So one thing that is, one good thing about it, is that I get leadership experience, which I already have a lot of leadership experience, so that's one thing.

The second thing is I get to work with people who are very diverse. So not only do we have black students in our club, but we have Caucasian students, we have Latino students, we welcome everyone, we have a student from Germany in our club, just because she wants to learn about the culture so we're really open, and so there you learn a lot about different people.

The third thing is a sense of home and community, because you know I'm two thousand miles away from home, literally two thousand miles away from home, so it's nice to have a family away from family, so that's how I see it.

What are the three disadvantages?
The three disadvantages, one disadvantage I would say is that, I don't get credit where it's due all the time. I do a lot for the club in each year, since most people are doing two years, I've been training each new president and so at the beginning of every year, I end up doing stuff that the president should be doing because I already know the ropes, and the new president's don't know so well.

Another disadvantage I would say is that, we're associated with ignorance sometimes, because most of the African American students on campus can come off as ignorant, and so when people hear about our club they kind of like just brush it to the side, like, "oh no I don't want to be a part of that," you know what I mean.

The third disadvantage is, it's probably tied to the second, recruitment. Sometimes it could be difficult for us to recruit because of these stereotypes and, another thing would be just trying to get the whole community involved. Sometimes they kind of just like, we feel like we get put in a box and that's not like the best thing. We try to open the box and welcome other people in so that's the challenge we're facing right now.

What do like about living in Ephraim?
The best part about living in Ephraim, I would say, would be how quiet it is, honestly. For a student, it's the best thing ever because there's not to much life, there's not too much night life, and no night life means no distractions. Living in Ephraim really makes you focus on the task at hand and what's most important, and that's being a student.

What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is this room we are in right now the percussion studio, as you can see, we have two drum sets in here, we have timpani in here, we have xylophone, we have vibraphone in here as well. I'm usually in here late nights at least until 2 am, sometimes 12 if I get lucky, you know, if I'm feeling good, I'll leave at 12. Honestly I live in this room, I've slept in this room, I've ate in this room, I've done homework in this room, so this is like my room. I'm here in this room, more than I am in my room where I sleep so, yup this is my favorite place.

What do you miss about home?
I miss the food, food, food, food, definitely the food. Just because, I can't find soul food around here, like its Ephraim, you know, and I don't have a car. My car is at home in New Jersey, if I were to bring my car here, it'll take like 36 hours, I can't drive 36 hours. Honestly I really really miss the food. It's a lot more diverse, I had more options at home. The Black Student Union our club, for black history month what we do is we put on one event per week in February, and one of those events is our most popular event, is soul food night, so we serve a meal of soul food, and it sells like crazy, people come back for like two or three plates.

What would you say to someone thinking of coming to Snow College?
What would you say to someone thinking of coming to Snow College?
I would honestly say come out and check it out, you know, that's the best way to decide where you want to be and where you want to go, is just to come and see for yourself. Like I did, I took a chance, you know it was literally luck, I just came out here on a limb and I just fell in love and I registered while I was here and that was that. So honestly the best thing to do is just to come out check it out see if you like the vibe, then make your decision from that.

What helped you decided to come to Snow College?
When I came here I really, of course I had other options to go to different schools, but I visited them, and then I'm like okay, this is okay, this is okay, but this one, like Snow College it really made me feel different than the others, just because the relationships with the teachers and the professors, it was a lot more intimate than the other schools I had visited, and a lot more one on one, and I feel like that's the best teaching style in order to grow at a rapid pace. So I think the ratio, student to professor here is like 16 to 1, so if you, even if you don't struggle with education, I feel like that's something that everybody needs just because you'll grow quicker, so that was like one of the main factors in deciding how I got here and I just, like I mentioned before, I just learned so much in like two days and I was like imagine if I was here for a semester. And even in my first semester I learned so much and I went back home and my old band teacher was like, "whoa," you know, cause I had grown so much, so yeah, I just like the intimacy, especially in this program.

What can you do with a Commercial Music Degree?
So commercial music is a very wide term. Commercial music can range from anything that you see on commercials, to, you know, things that the general population listen to like pop and rock, so we have the Commercial Music Ensembles. Which that was a new thing for me because in New Jersey there's not too much rock going on. So I learned a little bit of rock, I learned a little bit of country, that was an interesting thing, I'm still learning, still learning. We also just started a hip-hop group here, so that's developing slowly, that's also a part of the Commercial Music Ensembles. Here, I'm in, you know, you learn jazz of course you learn it in big band and small groups because they are two different environments, you have to learn how to play in both. There's also symphonic band and wind symphony and in those, that's like, that's concert percussion, so in that case there are a lot more instruments, a lot different techniques, it's very versatile. And then the same thing with orchestra, so orchestra and band, they're kind of like in the same world as far as percussion chops go. And honestly, we do pep band too, so pep band that's a little different, that's more fun for us, but even as a drum line that's a different world as well. We learn a lot, so I have a little bit of everything, this program exposes you to everything.

What music groups are you in?
I am in Union Highway which is an Indie group a part of the Commercial Music Ensembles series. I am in a jazz combo, I am in big band, which is jazz, I am in, let me see symphonic band, I am in wind symphony, I am in pep band, I think I'm missing, I'm missing something, but you get the picture, I'm in everything, I'm in everything, you'll see me everywhere.