Veronica Mascaro understands the meaning of the word persistence. She has been playing the flute since the third grade, performing all over the United States and the world. She currently performs in three professional orchestras and is part of a flute and classical guitar duet.
She coaches chamber music in the United States and in Europe. She’s an assistant conductor for a youth orchestra. She has served as a presenter of master classes in the Czech Republic, Madrid and Spain.
But perhaps one of Mascaro’s most important tests of persistence was earning her Ottawa University degree. “I loved my time at Ottawa,” says Mascaro, a 2012 graduate of OU-Online. “From start to finish, I felt like an individual.”
Mascaro’s persistence was tested last summer when she was taking six credits while teaching and performing in Europe. “I only missed submitting an assignment by an hour once the entire time, and it was because I had spotty Internet in a tiny little town in Prague,” says Mascaro. “My professors were always understanding of my professional responsibility, but they had expectations of my commitment to my degree.”
In August, Mascaro was pushed to her limits again when Hurricane Irene blew through the town she was living in. She had no electricity for two weeks. Three large trees had fallen on both entrances and exits to her home.
“The professors and my courses meant so much to me that I would walk to the local pub where they had free Internet to do my homework and Blackboard submissions,” says Mascaro. “I could have just as easily told my professors about my difficulties, but I wanted to fulfill my course responsibilities – it was that important to me.”
Now that Mascaro has her history degree, she is moving from Pennsylvania to Wichita, Kansas, where she has accepted a graduate teaching assistantship in flute performance from Wichita State University. “I think attending Ottawa University and getting to know the great staff and faculty prompted me to pursue an adventure in the Heartland,” says Mascaro.
Eventually, Mascaro says she wants to teach and coach music at the college level. “While I do love teaching younger musicians, I feel that my calling is to teach future teachers how to pass along their passion,” says Mascaro. “This is what will continue the tradition of classical music – both performers and audience members.”
And she will persist in performing, as well. “It is my passion and my purpose in life,” says Mascaro. “I am a performer by nature. I enjoy sharing my God-given talents and purpose with others.”
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