As an opera singer at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Reagan Miller, BA ’21, had never heard of the University of Dallas prior to receiving an email from admissions counselor Megan Wagner.
“I filled out an application on a whim and toured the campus on a day off from school,” said Miller. “I felt like I could fit in here.”
Though music has been such a large part of Miller’s life, it’s not what she wants to focus on in college. In fact, she’s planning to major in biochemistry on a pre-med track; she thinks she would ultimately like to become an anesthesiologist.
“That way I could keep using chemistry with my medical degree,” she said. “It would be a fun career, either in a hospital setting or private practice.”
She participated in UD’s O’Hara Chemical Sciences Institute on campus this past summer.
“O’Hara was very stressful, but gratifying,” she said. “It’s eight weeks with other students who all have one goal, and we attended lectures and labs and did homework together. I made very good friends, became a better person and developed good study habits.”
She thinks she might pursue a music concentration, however.
“That way, I could still do music without making it my entire life,” she said. “That was very important to me in choosing a college.”
For the past several years, Miller has sung with church choirs, first at a nondenominational church and then at the Episcopalian church where her high school principal was the choir director.
“It’s important to me to find outside ways to use choir, not just in school, and church is a good outlet for that,” she said.
At Booker T. Washington, the students start out with a broad focus for two years before specializing, so Miller did straight choir and vocal technique class as a freshman and sophomore before transitioning to opera for her junior and senior years. While doing opera, she got to see many operas at the Dallas Opera House, a venue she describes as “amazing, trying to revolutionize how opera is seen.”
Having come from this liberal arts high school, where even with the immersion in the arts the students had to have “normal” school, Miller is looking forward to the well-rounded education she knows UD will provide.
“I want to live in the real world,” she said. “I want to be able to write and to understand politics; if you can’t do these things, you’re not a truly functioning member of society.”