UM music student overcomes obstacles to follow passion for performance

Raequel Roberts UM News Service

To say music has played a major part in Andrew Kagerer’s life would be an epic understatement.

The University of Montana student has studied piano since he was a young child, and he’s played the trumpet for almost a decade. His family owns a music store in Anchorage, Alaska, and his parents met when his mother took her broken flute to have it repaired at the family shop.

A future in the arts seemed an almost certainty for Kagerer, who had researched music conservatories while finishing high school.

But then, as often happens, life threw him a curve, leading him to enroll at UM not in music, but in pre-pharmacy.

Kagerer explains matter-of-factly that an injury to his face from improper playing techniques and a rare metals allergy made it difficult, if not impossible, to play brass instruments.

“I thought to myself, well, what do I do know?” Kagerer recalls. “I loved my science classes, and I had an uncle who was a pharmacist, so that’s what I chose. My parents were a bit shocked at first, but they were super supportive. Having lived in the music world, they knew a lot of professional musicians who didn’t make it.”

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