“Austin Peay is the best decision I’ve ever made. It just feels like family. It feels like home.”
Major: Instrumental Music Education
Hometown: Summertown, Tennessee
Heather Gauthier’s last marching band performance in high school happened at Austin Peay’s Mid-South Marching Invitational during her senior year.
“At that point, I was uncertain of what I was going to do for college, so stepping off the field was super, super emotional for me,” she said. “I cried so much.”
After high school, Gauthier attended Columbia State Community College where she studied accounting before switching to fine arts and music. She didn’t have marching band those two years, which she calls her gap years.
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But last fall, she transferred to Austin Peay State University with an associate degree in hand to pursue a degree in instrumental music education – and to don a marching band uniform again.
She also returned to the field where she last marched.
“Last fall was just like home,” Gauthier said. “I returned to the last field I stepped off of during high school, and now it’s my home field. “Austin Peay is the best decision I’ve ever made.”
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Gauthier is happy to tell anyone that, and she tweeted the same thought during the summer.
“It just feels like family,” she said. “It feels like home. Everybody is so kind. The music department here is absolutely outstanding, and all of my friends, they’re just so talented. The professors are so good.
“I haven’t met a single person or a single professor yet that I haven’t liked.”
After college, Gauthier wants to teach in high school, especially marching band. She’d love to do that in Clarksville, but she said any place like Clarksville will make her happy.
“I really love the marching band aspect, that’s such a big part of my life,” Gauthier said. “For a lot of high schoolers, band is literally the only reason they’re still here. It saves lives being involved in something like band in a community, making music together, being a family.
“I just want to share my love of music with people and hope that they share the same feeling and carry that on.”