Christian Gonzalez is a freshman music major, a graduate of Joshua High School, a Meyerson Festival Scholarship Finalist, and an award-winning sax player. Christian attended another local Christian college and applied to several others, but ultimately he decided Southwestern Adventist University was the place for him.
It all started when Christian heard about the University from a teacher and toured the campus last fall. He really enjoyed the tour as he was able to talk to both students and professors. He couldn’t get over how friendly everyone was. Sitting in an English class, Christian was surprised to notice how easily the students and professor conversed. The tour was also when he found out about the Music Festival Scholarship and decided to try out.
The experience was amazing, he remembers, as he won one of the finalist scholarships and had the opportunity to play at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. In addition to all the friendly faces, experiences such as the Meyerson is one of the reasons why Christian appreciates Southwestern so much. “Where else do you get a campus where you can be friends with everyone, and still experience something like playing at a venue like the Meyerson,” he asked, laughing.
Christian thinks the campus is just the right size, giving him ample opportunity to make a lot of friends and get to know his professors, though it is likely that some of that has to do with his own gregarious attitude and big, friendly smile. As a non-denominational Christian, he also finds the spiritual atmosphere refreshing. He admits that some things have taken some getting used to, and he misses his bacon, but overall Christian enjoys the campus and all it has to offer, even eating in the cafeteria!
“There is a lot going on for the size of school. I’m getting so much experience. And I just love the beautiful campus, the nice buildings, and all the diversity,” he says. “I love hearing about the stories and experiences of people from other countries. I get to know my professors, which I haven’t done before. I can talk about spiritual stuff and it isn’t unusual.”
Christian started playing saxophone at age 10 and, although he prefers the tenor sax, he can play the alto sax and baritone sax equally as well. During his junior year of high school, he earned enough money from working part time at the local H.E.B. grocery store to purchase a brand-new Cannonball tenor saxophone. He knows what it is to work hard for his dreams. It is really nice to be at a place where others are helping him realize those dreams. Just recently, Christian was paid to play for the University gala, giving him the opportunity to meet even more people.
“There are so many opportunities here,” Christian says. “Even outside the Music department, faculty approach me with other ideas or needs, and I get to go play for an event.” My dream is to work with music and film, writing music for film. I love to perform and share my music. I really appreciate that I get so much help and can take film classes along with my music major to round out my knowledge and experience. I just really like it here.”