For one day last April, nearly 50 musicians took to the sidewalks on Virginia Tech’s campus to perform open-air, mini-concerts. It was a day 15 years in the works, and yet, without Emily Barritt and her enthusiasm, it may not have happened.
Along with a small team, Barritt, a sophomore Honors student, McNamara Scholarship recipient, and neuroscience and chemistry double major, helped orchestrate the event. But the idea came from an unlikely source: an introductory Honors chemistry class.
Nearly 15 years ago, Virginia Tech chemistry professor Gordon Yee brought the idea for Music Day with him from the University of Colorado. When he brought it up during the class’ optional Monday problem solving sessions, Barritt jumped in to help make the day happen, using her organizational skills, her connections from her work as a Moss Arts Center ambassador, and her own talents as a musician: she plays the saxophone, clarinet, flute, cello, piano, steel drum, and — her specialty — the bassoon.
“You learn one, you learn ’em all,” she said.