Outstanding Grad: Christian Kuhlman

Christian KuhlmanChristian Kuhlman

Degree: Master of Music

Christian Kuhlman has been recommended as an Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts by University Distinguished Professor Wes Kenney.

Learn more about Christian below:

1. Why did you choose to study at CSU?

“I chose to do my Master’s at CSU because I knew that my mentors would be able to challenge me in the areas that I could improve in, while also providing me with the energy and rigor to support my own goals and projects.”

2. How has your background shaped your experience here at CSU, and what advice would you give to students of similar identities?

“I think coming from a relatively small school, I was worried that people would wonder if I belonged here, and if what I would say would be taken seriously.  I think what made this experience so incredible for me was the high intensity and quality of my own work, as well as being honest with my peers, students, and mentors about things that I think and feel, to allow for the most open communication I can possibly have.  There’s no substitute for hard work in my book!”

3. What accomplishments from your educational career at CSU are you most proud of? How were you able to accomplish those things?

“There’ve been so many incredible moments for me here at CSU, but I think the crowning achievement would have been my series of recitals given throughout my time.  I am not known for playing conventional or traditional music, and I was given the opportunity to present my own artistic interests in a space that was welcoming and interested in what I had to say.  Without the support and encouragement of my mentors Dr. Eric Hollenbeck and Professor Shilo Stroman, I would certainly not have the ability to put on such ambitious shows.  They (along with many of the faculty here at CSU) have encouraged me to be an artist and be myself, and I cannot thank them enough for that external encouragement and motivation.”

4. What has been the most challenging aspect of your educational career so far? How have you overcome those difficulties?

“Coming into grad school during the COVID-19 pandemic created massive challenges for me, including struggling to connect with my colleagues and teachers, dealing with virtual classes, and most significantly, giving performances to empty concert halls for a year.  I think the things that kept me invested during the pandemic and I will take with me is being present as much as I can, and enjoying being with the people that I find myself surrounded by, and by trying to not worry about things that are out of my control.  I know I can control what I can control, I can be mindful and appreciative of my surroundings, and that’s been an incredible reminder for me during these past few years.”

5. What are your post-graduation plans and goals?

“I hope to take a few years and work as a percussion consultant or percussion director in Colorado, while also working on my own performance career and artistic ideas.  This could be performances with local orchestras, but I would also love to perform my own shows of newly composed music, work with composers I love, and perform in informal settings with my musical and non-musical friends.  Eventually, I would like to pursue my Doctor of Musical Arts degree, and eventually would love to perform regularly with experimental chamber music groups, as a solo curator, and work as a professor of percussion at the university level.”