Singing to Stay Grounded: Economics Major is President of UW Chorale

UW Chorale Erika VanHorne, third from right, and other members of the UW Chorale following a performance at Benaroya Hall with Imogen Heap

Senior honors student Erika VanHorne has spent her college career completing a double degree in History and Economics — and in addition to a minor in Music, finding every chance she can to sing.

“I've been involved in music my whole life,” Erika said. “My mom is a musician, and I participated in band, choir, and musical theater in high school.”

As a freshman, Erika auditioned for and was accepted into the UW Chorale, an undergraduate chorale ensemble. She is the group president this year, and has also served in the roles of vice president, treasurer, and recruitment chair. Like the Economics major, admission to the UW Chorale is competitive, requiring a high level of technical skill and natural ability demonstrated during annual auditions.

Throughout the month of December, the UW Chorale is performing Seahawks-themed Christmas carols called “Pete Carroll Carols” for the “Candy and Potter Show” on HOT 103.7 FM every Monday morning at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8 a.m. The Chorale will perform with the "Seattle Pops" group at the Seattle Symphony in March 2015.

“We’re usually just performing in Meany Hall, so this has been a very exciting opportunity for us,” Erika said.

As she prepares to graduate in June of 2015, Erika is working on her college honors thesis through the History department on the socioeconomic status of widows in 17th and 18th century Plymouth colonies. She notes that while her thesis focuses on social history, the skillset she has acquired in economics classes provided the foundation for constructing her topic.

Erika is also participating this year in the Economics Undergraduate Mentor Program, working with attorney Bill Severson (BA '71, JD '74). With law school a major consideration upon graduation for Erika, she said "[the mentor] program is an excellent opportunity for me to learn how others have successfully applied an economics degree in the world of law. Learning from someone else's experiences would allow me to set expectations and goals for my career in the law."

Her involvement with UW Chorale has been a great way to meet other students from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds. “Chorale rounds out my [college] experience,” Erika said. “Music keeps me grounded when things get hectic academically.”

Written by senior Economics major Atoosa Moinzadeh (@amoinzadeh) for our series “Econ Students on Students,” stories written by our undergraduate students about some of the interesting and unique things their peers are doing.