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Communications and Marketing

A Forester you should know: Michael Tseitlin ’18

Looking for Michael Tseitlin ’18? You’re likely to find him in Reid Hall either teaching a fellow student how to play trumpet, practicing his multiple instruments, or rehearsing with a band or ensemble.

This Friday, October 6, Tseitlin will be among students and alumni performing “Cycles” at the Gorton Community Center. This quintessential music and music education double major from Northbrook, Illinois (Glenbrook North High School) is a Forester you should know.

Q: What drew you to Lake Forest College?

A: Initially, it was both the opportunities that Lake Forest College offers and the convenient 20-minute drive from home that attracted me to the school. Originally, I came in as a neuroscience and music double major, but I fell in love with the music side and am studying music and music education. I perform with the jazz band, the concert band, and the orchestra. My primary instruments are saxophone and classical guitar.

Q: What experiences have you had here—besides your classes—that have helped prepare you for your future career?

A: Easy access to North Shore schools, where teachers are willing to let Lake Forest College students come and observe, is super helpful. You can see real teaching in action. Additionally, as a music education major, I’m required to participate in multiple types of ensembles, so next semester I will be participating in concert choir and West African drumming in addition to my regular ensembles. Experiencing different ensembles and becoming a well-rounded musician is important for whatever music job comes your way. I also think that being a member or leader of clubs helps you learn to take charge or be a team player. Music is a club in itself, but I’m also part of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honors society, and I’m on the music advisory board. I think it’s important to meet and work with people rather than just worrying about classes. It keeps you sane.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: What free time? I teach color guard to high school marching bands. I also perform in the independent Allegiance Winter Guard that travels to world finals and competes. For the past two years, we’ve competed at the WGI Color Guard World Championships and medaled. I play in my own ska band called The Ska-lers with a bunch of my high school friends. I just love playing shows. We’ve played live radio and even headlined the House of Blues in Chicago, which is maybe the most fun I’ve ever had. I also like to play in jazz combos and write music—I’ll pretty much do anything music-related. I’m definitely not sleeping in my free time.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I’m hoping to become a high school band director so that I can conduct my own concert band while fostering my own jazz band, marching band, and pep band programs. I really want to start teaching right away. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to school and pursue a master’s in music education. Either way, I would eventually like to get my PhD.

Q: Any advice for new students?

A: Don’t be afraid to talk to other students. Older students who have been through it all already will always have advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to try something new. I’m always willing to talk to people. If you see me walking around, don’t be afraid to come and say hi.

Q: Parting words?

A: Peace out, Lake Forest. Thanks for all the opportunities—I wouldn’t be where I am without you. 

Tseitlin and the rest of the Lake Forest College band and orchestra ensembles will be perform at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 6 at the Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road in Lake Forest.

– By Sophie Mucciaccio ’18