Normally, the College of Arts and Letters honors its nominees for Outstanding Graduating Senior with a banquet. Since that’s not possible this year, we’re letting the public get to know the honorees here on our website.
Alexander Burdiss is the Standard Bearer for the College of Arts and Letters class of 2020. He was nominated by the School of Music. He is a music performance: trombone major with a computer science minor. According to the faculty that nominated him, Alexander is “one of the best brass players ever to attend NAU.”
Alexander came to NAU after graduating from Coconino High School here in Flagstaff. He won the concerto contest as a sophomore, and has been a leader in the School of Music’s ensembles for nearly his entire time on campus.
Alexander says his favorite experience in school has been learning from Professor David Vining, “Being able to study with him and learn what he had to teach has shaped me into the trombonist and individual I am today,” he said.
While excelling at music, he has spread his learning across a variety of subjects. He used his minor in computer science to help develop an app for Mountain Peak Music, an online music publishing company dedicated to teaching musicians. This was another project he completed with Prof. Vining, the company’s founder.
While not in class, Alex also works with non-native English speakers through NAU’s Program in Intensive English where he is a tutor and the webmaster. He also spent his summers working at an auto parts factory, which he said helped teach him a lot. “You should never let schooling interfere with your education.”
Alexander’s summer job could help him in his next step. Once he’s done with his schooling, he’ll head to Dayton, Ohio where he has lined up a job with international software development company Reynold and Reynolds. He’ll be working on websites and mobile apps for automotive retailers.
Alexander says he will keep practicing trombone so he can take orchestra auditions, but he’ll be making a living as a software developer until then.