Senior Riley Sullivan speaks on her time at BC

Riley Sullivan singing

Brevard College Means Growth

Riley Sullivan singing


Chances are if you’ve seen Riley Sullivan on campus, she’s got a beaming smile on her face. A Music Education major, she will be showcasing her talents at her senior recital on November 19th in Brevard College’s Porter Center.

“Growing up, my mom and dad always let me get involved with as much as caught my eye, so long as I kept my family and faith at my core,” Riley said when asked about her childhood.

Originally from a small town, Riley knew she wanted to go to a small college by her freshman year of high school. Blending her interests of soccer and musical performance, she was all set to attend Catawba College after visiting a soccer camp there. However, her plans quickly changed after she stayed overnight with Brevard’s soccer team, a program that some college athletic teams offer prospective students. It didn’t take long for Riley to decide that Brevard was the place she wanted to be.

“The next day I called Catawba and withdrew my application, and here I am 4 years later,” She said, and later added that “ultimately the people at Brevard College brought me here. Everyone was so welcoming and community-oriented,” people like Dr. Siemon, her private voice instructor, Dr. Cabin and Dr. Mo, professors in environmental science, and, the two professors that almost any music major will mention: Dr. David Gresham and Dr. Kathryn Gresham.

“The Greshams are godsends and I wouldn’t be half the person I am (or half as involved) if it were not for their guidance, support, and loyalty,” said Riley.

Her involvements include being an RA, a peer leader, a teacher’s assistant for choir classes, working at the Brevard Health and Racquet Club, singing at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, being a work-study for Brevard’s music department, and much more.

As far as classes go, Riley says some of her favorites were ENV 101 with Dr. Cabin, ECO 290 which took her to Costa Rica during her spring break, and RCT 100, where music students and faculty came together each week to bond over their common passion of music performance.

“Riley has always been an energetic, disciplined student who takes her work very seriously. Students look up to her, and the faculty love having her around. Her energy is infectious.” said professor of music, Dr. Kathryn Gresham.

To Riley, Brevard College means growth. From hours spent in Dunham, fine-tuning her voice, to moments of success while mentoring others, Riley says she’s done a lot of personal developing during her time here.

“I’ve grown to advocate for myself. I’ve grown in teaching others. I’ve just grown. I look back and see who I was 4 years ago, and I almost don’t recognize that girl.”

Come to support Riley at her senior recital this Sunday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Porter Center.  She’ll be performing a total of 12 songs that capture the beauty of vocal performance from various artists and cultures.