I was born in Littleton, Colorado, but I grew up in Cañon City, Colorado. My mother is Catherine Flynn and my father is Patrick Flynn. My sister is Grace Flynn, whom many professors and past students may remember. My family was a foster family for 10 years and I learned to grow up with many culturally, economically and ethnically diverse children. One of the biggest life lessons I learned as a foster sister was that some of the best people come from the worst places. It’s important to keep that humility and gratitude towards everyone. I was a part of the marching and symphonic band at Cañon City High School from 2012 to 2016. I played trumpet all four years, and was selected as the Senior Drum Major in 2015. I graduated from Cañon City High School in 2016 and started at Western in 2016. I studied Music Education and my main instrument was trumpet. I was also interested in other courses such as philosophy, physics and business. I became the principal trumpet player for Western Colorado University from 2017 to 2020. I also took many fun and interesting music ensemble classes such as Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Dixieland Band and Choir. I graduated during the historic pandemic in May 2020.
How did you discover Western?
My mother attended Western as an undergraduate from 1977 – 1981. She majored English with an emphasis in writing and received her master’s degree in English with an emphasis in literature in 1989. She worked as a graduate assistant during her master’s degree and then taught as an adjunct professor from 1989 – 1991. Western has been a part of my blood before I was even born! My mom and dad came to Gunnison during all seasons to meet my mom’s old friends while my sister, Grace, and I were growing up. We have spent more than half of our lives in Gunnison. When I was searching for universities to attend after high school, Western was my one and only pick. I wanted to go back and experience Gunnison as a college student and to experience the same life my mom had! I had the same dorm room my mom had when she attended, and it was nostalgic for us to set up my room. My sister and I experienced Western together and I have so many fantastic memories with her that are unforgettable. I never really discovered Western, it has always been a part of my life.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
As a musician, there were so many different experiences and memories I created at Western. Some of my favorite times at Western were some of my first concerts and student recitals, playing in the Pep Band during the football and basketball seasons, becoming a music director at KWSB while working with the radio manager, my sister, at the same time, all homecoming KWSB parties and events, having Christmas dinner parties with the KWSB crew, helping with Honor Band and Honor Choir for four years, attending The Colorado Music Educators Association Conference every year in January, and traveling to Kentucky with my trumpet professor, Dr. Siegel, for a trumpet conference. These mixed memories brought the excitement of Western forward and will always be some of the highlights of my career.
What most excites you about your field?
I have been playing the piano since I was three years old. Music has been my life for the past 19 years, and every aspect of the arts is extremely important to me. Although I received a degree in Education, I know the importance of a strong Administrative Assistant. Working with all the professors I had while I was a student will be beneficial for me in the future because I not only get to help them and their students, but I also will learn behind the scenes how they do their careers daily. It is exciting to think about all the opportunities this opens up for me and how I can learn so much.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
My favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley is the smell of wood burning stoves. My childhood memories of Gunnison always revolved around the scent of wood fire places. When winter rolls in, I am excited to smell the first scent of winter: a cozy fire.