Clarinet Cameron Cecil wins 2013 Sudler Prize
Cameron Cecil, Principal Clarinet of the Purdue Wind Ensemble, has been named the 2013 winner of Purdue's Sudler Prize in the Arts, marking the ninth time in 11 years, a Purdue Bands' student has been named Purdue's top senior in the arts.
Each year, top seniors in the arts are nominated by their respective departments to compete for the award. Contestants come from Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue Musical Organizations, Purdue Bands and Orchestras and the Purdue Black Cultural Center.
Majoring in mechanical engineering and mathematics, Cecil is a senior from Fishers, IN, who is considering becoming a professor or working for the US Department of Defense.
Cecil's talent on the clarinet has led to solo spots, both at Purdue and previously at his high school. But it's not the only thing he's passionate about.
"My greatest passion outside of music is robotics. My Purdue research group focuses on biologically inspired robot design and, more specifically, legged locomotion. Although a huge time commitment, it has been, without a doubt, one of the coolest things I've ever done," he says.
Jay Gephart, Director of the Wind Ensemble, says Cecil has been a leader in the department throughout his time at Purdue and that contributed to his strength as a Sudler competitor. The word passion emerges again as Cecil reflects on his success.
"To lead any group, the most important trait is passion for what you're doing. Passion is infectious, and seeing it in the section leader or conductor ignites a fire inside of you," he says. "It gives you that feeling that everyone's working together to create something truly special."
There are lessons taught by music, Cecil feels, that have carry over value.
"Cherish those moments when you get nervous, and don't confuse excitement with fear. Without nervousness there can be no feeling of accomplishment," he says.
"If you mess up really badly, don't worry. We've all been there. Like an embarrassing moment at school, you're the only one that is going to still be beating yourself up about it a week later. Live the music, love the music, and share your passion with everyone that's willing to listen."