Recently, Youngstown State University initiated students into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Among the inductees was Mathews High School alumnus Brendan McEvoy. Recently, we caught up with Brendan to learn where life has taken him since graduating from Mathews High School in 2018.
Q: What years did you attend Mathews?
A: I attended MHS from 2015 to 2018.
Q: What activities and clubs were you involved in while you attended Mathews High School?
A: I was involved in a lot! At Mathews specifically, I was in Prep Bowl, Art Club, NHS, Student Government, Robotics Team, Games Club, and I participated in YSU English Festival and OMEA Solo and Ensemble. Outside of Mathews, I was in the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra, and I was one of the first boys from Mathews in five years to attend Buckeye Boys State!
Q: What do you remember about your time at Mathews Schools?
A: Honestly, my extracurricular involvements gave me some of my favorite memories! I was able to surround myself with people who enjoyed and cared about the same things I did, and they were all wonderful experiences!
Q: Where has life taken you since graduating from Mathews High School?
A: I am now pursuing a BM in Music Composition from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State! I'm a Leslie H. Cochran Scholar in the Honors College, the President of Cafaro House's Advisory Council, and the Secretary of the Dana League of Composers. I've volunteered with many organizations around Youngstown, including the Dana School, United Way, and OhWOW!, where I was awarded Volunteer of the Year! I am also the instructor for the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra's non-profit initiative Strings of Joy, where I teach violin lessons to area students.
Q: What interested you in performing arts?
A: I first started playing the violin when I was five - I honestly can't remember ever not making music! I wasn't planning on majoring in music at first - I only decided to switch once I auditioned for a music minor at YSU, and the violin and composition professors encouraged me to switch.
Q: When did you start composing?
A: I always like tinkering around on my violin and the piano, just playing little bits of whatever came to my head. I didn't start composing, however, until I went to the YSU English Festival and participated in their Jeremy Salvner Music Contest, where I wrote music inspired by the books I read there. That kickstarted my interest in composing!
Q: What advice would you have for current Mathews students who have an interest in music?
A: Get out there and find every opportunity to play that you can! Immerse yourself in as many different kinds of music as possible, and don't be afraid to ask other musicians for advice.