The Summer Jazz Workshop at UNC-Chapel Hill would not be nearly as educational or be able to run as efficiently without counselor Rebecca Clemens’ revered organizational skills.
Clemens, 22, most commonly known as “Becca,” is a 2014 alumnus of the university entering her fifth year as head counselor for the workshop.
“Dr. Anderson approached me as a freshman in the jazz program to be a counselor because they did not have a girl,” Clemens said, referencing the workshop’s director Stephen Anderson. “After graduating and getting my educational licensure last year, I still wanted to be here. It’s a fun gig.”
A bass trombone player since the age of 10, Clemens remembers being in 7th grade and deciding that she wanted to pursue music as a career.
“I love spending time with the campers because they remind me of why I started playing in the first place,” Clemens said. “Usually I find them late at night holding little jam sessions with each other because they can’t get enough. It’s awesome to see their enthusiasm.”
In the first four years of the workshop, there were only two counselors, Clemens and Ryan Raven, a trumpet player and 2012 Music alumnus of UNC.
“Becca is one of those people that knows how to solve a problem even when the answer is not readily available,” Raven said.
Jim Ketch, a UNC music professor and former instructor to Clemens, echoed Raven’s sentiments.
“What sets Becca apart is her attitude and personality. She has good people skills,” Ketch said. “She is autonomous and intuitive. She anticipates problems, which makes her reliable. In basketball terms, she’d be the point guard.”