“I am fascinated by the music of different cultures and how it can be so different but so similar to ours.”
Raleigh, North Carolina
Longleaf School of the Arts
Sense of community
Marguerite Hemedinger has eclectic interests.
She is an intern with WRAL television Explorer Post 5 helping run shows and broadcast parades and events; she works with the Durham Bulls Explorer Post 50 running the cameras, creating replays, graphics, directing and producing; she performed with the 11-12 mixed ensemble at the North Carolina All-State Choral Festival and at the N.C. Governor's School Chorus concert; and she participated in the Embrace Uganda benefit to raise funds for families in Uganda. This summer, Hemedinger is traveling to Vancouver in a broadcasting internship for the Durham Bulls.
So it is no surprise that Hemedinger has eclectic plans for her East Carolina University education as well. She's one of 20 EC Scholars in the class of 2021. EC Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program at ECU. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive an Honors College scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of almost $62,000.
"I am planning to major in music education and, hopefully, anthropology-I am excited to be part of any choruses and a cappella groups I can because I love learning new music," she said. "I also have an interest in being part of some sort of journalism or broadcasting club or program, whether that's the campus news, newspaper or radio."
Hemedinger's travel bug and her interest in other cultures also informs her educational choices.
She says she wants to teach high school chorus for a few years but then get a master's degree in ethnomusicology and study the origins of different music theory methods of cultures around the world.
"I love to travel, I love music theory and I love research, so I want to be in a career that allows me to do all of it," she said.
Thus, she likes the EC Scholar international study opportunity.
"I really want to study abroad somewhere that is completely different from here," she said." I either want to study in a Spanish-speaking country so I can improve my Spanish and hopefully be more fluent, or possibly somewhere like India where the music is completely different."
The community, camaraderie and friendliness of ECU - as well as being an EC Scholar - brought Hemedinger to Greenville.
"I was heavily debating my college options until I came to my ECU (music) audition in February, and all of the music students and staff were so overwhelmingly welcoming," she said. "They had so many positive things to say about the program, each other and the school.
"All of the students helping out seemed to genuinely love music and gave a sense of community that I wanted to be a part of. The next weekend at my interview I got the same vibe, and I knew this was the environment I wanted to be in.
"I am extremely honored and excited to be an EC Scholar - to me it means having the opportunity to learn as much as I possibly can."
The 18-year-old is the daughter of Chris Hemedinger and Gail Hemedinger.