Candice Shaughnessy may not have taken the traditional path to a career in New York City, but she’s glad to have traveled the road less taken.
"I had to really fight, but it was a blessing because the initial struggle gave me direction and helped move me where I needed to go,” she says.
"I tried to open every door."
Candice had difficulty finding a music teaching position in the Pittsburgh area after graduation.
So she worked as a church musician, taught private piano and voice, performed opera throughout the Pittsburgh region and around the world, and earned her master’s degree in voice performance at Duquesne University.
“I tried to open every door,” she says. “Especially in a field like music, when you graduate it’s on you – you have to make it happen.”
As she began to increasingly travel to New York for auditions, Candice decided a change in scenery was necessary. A job opportunity in the New York City public schools led her to move last August.
At PS 103 in the North Bronx, Candice teaches general music, leads the select choir and is the assistant director of the elementary band in a school with a predominantly minority population and a large amount of English language learners.
“It’s really opened my mind and my heart and has helped me see the world a little differently, and I think that’s always healthy,” she says.
She continues to work to establish her opera career in New York, looking for opportunities to network whenever she can.
“All of my experiences make me a richer artist, and provide me with inspiration for my performances,” she says. “I’ve had challenges and that makes a difference.”
Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Spring/Winter 2017 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon) or click here to view the Forward as a digital magazine.