Location: Hagerstown, Md.
Occupation: I work at a mall kiosk currently, but am just working odd jobs to put myself through school. Mostly sales and customer service. I’m studying to become an audio engineer.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I discovered Balkan music at Santa Fe University of Art and Design under the instruction of Polly T. Ferber. Since the school’s closure my partner and I still play Balkan tunes together and actively seek out the East Coast Balkan community.
Number of times at Balkan camp: It was my first time at camp!
Studied at camp: My main study focus is cello and Turkish makam. Somehow makam makes more sense to me than traditional Western theory ever did.
Memorable moment at camp: I was in awe at the acceptance of people. I’m a very spiritual person and I also identify as a transgender male. Everybody at camp was so willing to hear me speak on my beliefs and so many people hugged or congratulated me when I came out to them. There was honest and true acceptance and understanding that we’re all the same species living different lives in the same place. It felt like family.