Wayne State University

Dumesnil Scholar shares love of music

Dumesnil Scholar shares love of music
Dumesnil Scholar Paul Bishop is very involved in the music department. He says it is kind of "like a second family."

When Paul Bishop arrived at Wayne State University to study music in 2007, he did not have as much formal training as many of the other students. Instead, he had passion and dedication. The Department of Music faculty gave him the time he needed to catch up, and he quickly developed into an outstanding musician. Bishop received a bachelor of music in 2011 and recently received a master of music in composition. 
 
A Michigan native, Bishop wanted to stay in the metropolitan Detroit area for school, so he enrolled at Oakland University as a psychology major. He liked psychology but found himself doodling music scales in his notebook during class. When he realized that it was possible to major in music instead, he transferred to Wayne State to double major in music business and composition.

"All these doors opened up"
Once on campus, Bishop said, “I felt like all these doors opened up.” He auditioned for the music program on guitar, which he learned to play at age 12. As a composition student, it was important for him to play piano, and the music faculty members were a tremendous help. In fact, so many professors have helped Bishop that he hesitated to name any one in particular as a standout influence. “The music department is kind of like a second family,” he explained. 

Bishop found that he did not have to leave his interest in psychology behind while at Wayne State. He assisted a professor doing research on the relationship between music and the brain. He also became very involved in the music department, both as a student employee and as a member of student organizations.

Throughout his years as a Warrior, Bishop served as a tutor and choral librarian. He was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society and joined many choral groups, including concert chorale and men’s chorus. Bishop was first introduced to choral singing at Wayne State, and it became a true love affair. “Singing was a new thing for me when I came on as a freshman,” he said. “Now I feel like it’s probably going to be in my life from here on out.” Bishop sang in the Detroit Jazz Festival last year as a student, and he hopes to do so again as an alumnus.

“It made me feel like somebody believes in me.”
​Bishop applied for the Evangeline L. Dumesnil Scholarship as an undergraduate and was honored to receive it. The Dumesnil Scholarship recognizes students for their musical talent and academic excellence. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Bishop auditioned for Wayne State’s master of music in composition. He was accepted, and the faculty recommended he once again receive the Dumesnil Scholarship as a graduate student. “It meant a lot to me that faculty members were recognizing my efforts as a student,” Bishop said. “It made me feel like somebody believes in me.”

After spending six years at Wayne State, Bishop knows the campus well and has a few favorite “hiding spots.” He liked to study in the choral library and the organ practice rooms because they were so quiet. He loves bicycling, and when the weather is nice, he has a six-mile route through Detroit that he likes to ride. In his free time, he also attends local concerts and plays video games.

Since completing his master’s degree, Bishop plans to enter composition competitions and network with performers to promote his music. Most of all, he said, “I want to try to compose as much as I can.” Bishop is taking a break from school right now, but after a few years, he plans to enroll in a doctoral music program. If Wayne State had such a program, he would probably come back. “I’ve been able to grow a lot here. I feel like I’m a different person with a different vision,” Bishop explained. “Wayne State has changed me a lot—I think for the better.”

Posted on May 14, 2013

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