Director of the University Chorus and Northshore Choral Society Amy Wilt-Prats believes in following the path to one’s dreams regardless of the obstacles.
Wilt-Prats acknowledged how her parents and her spirituality impacted her life.
“It is a toss-up between my parents and God when it comes to what has inspired me to follow my dreams,” said Wilt-Prats. “My parents never said I couldn’t do anything. They constantly encouraged me that I could get through anything even if it was too rough or difficult. They always pushed me. The path to following dreams is often not straight, but God was there every step of the way.”
After high school, music was not Wilt-Prats’ first choice. However, music eventually found its way back to her.
“In high school, I felt like the big fish in a small pond,” said Wilt-Prats. “I was in the choir, and I was involved with everything with the choir. After graduating high school, I went to college to get a degree in psychology. Psychology interested me, but I mainly went for that because I didn’t think I would be good enough to major in music. In the end, music forced itself to be a part of my life.”
Wilt-Prats described the joys and challenges of her job.
“The best thing about doing my job is watching students grow and thinking that I had a little part in that,” said Wilt-Prats. “The most challenging thing is when students don’t do what they’re supposed to do and I see potential in them. That is extremely frustrating because I want to see everyone succeed.”
After a statewide vote, Wilt-Prats became president-elect of the Louisiana branch of the American Choral Directors Association. Wilt-Prats shared how she felt after receiving the news.
“I wanted to stay honored because music educators put their trust in me,” said Wilt-Prats.
According to Wilt-Prats, the position requires her to “be responsible for statewide conferences and multiple honor choruses as well as representing the needs of music educators in Louisiana.”
Wilt-Prats believes that people are unaware of the job opportunities available to students majoring in music.
“A lot of parents are concerned about their children majoring in music because they don’t think their kids can make a lot of money with a degree in music,” said Wilt-Prats. “What people don’t understand is just how many jobs are out there that deal with the arts. I have seen lots of kids here at Southeastern succeed with a degree in music.”
Wilt-Prats encouraged people to pursue careers that create a product of happiness with less of an emphasis on money.
“I understand you have to put food on the table, but it would be a shame to waste all your education and time to go do something that makes you miserable,” said Wilt-Prats. “Do what you are passionate about.”