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Senior Profile: Karin Weston

CLAREMONT, California - July 16, 2012

Elizabeth Pfeiffer ’15

From gymnastics in Singapore to horse riding in Saudi Arabia and crew in Delaware, Karin Weston ’12 has a wide range of interests. “Yet there’s nothing I enjoy more than singing,” she says. “Other activities I did for only a few years, but wherever I’ve been, I’ve always had my voice. I could always sing.”

Weston planned on majoring in molecular biology because she felt a science major would be a practical choice for getting a job after graduating from Scripps College.  Her passion for singing led adding a second major in music to her course load. “I felt like both were a part of my identity,” she says. “I didn’t want to sacrifice either.”And at Scripps College, she didn’t need to.

A dual major means two senior theses, and while Weston’s work with proteins served as a satisfying research project for molecular biology, she increasingly gravitated toward her music thesis. “I wanted to show, through music, characters who took control of their lives,” she says of her vocal recital in which she sang about witches, queens, and warriors in early and contemporary classical music. “Some of my characters were victims (Mary Queen of Scots, Henry VIII’s wives), but they died with some pride and were seen as powerful enough to be dangerous.”

Working with assistant professor of music Anne Harley, Karin was able to learn correct breathing, create a consistent vibrato, and sing with a fuller tone. The lessons were some of her defining memories at Scripps College; Weston improved her vocal abilities so much she was able to tackle some very difficult pieces. “Most lessons resulted in breakthrough improvements in some aspect of my voice,” she says. “If my voice hadn’t improved as much as it did, I would not have been able to sing some of my pieces, particularly the Try Me, Good King set.”

Weston fully immersed herself in the local music scene while a student, participating in the College’s concert and chamber choirs and working at KSPC as classical music director and on-air talent. “On my show,” she says, “I applied what I learned in my music courses, and shared my knowledge with others.”

Weston says she will miss her home at Scripps College.  “Being surrounded by such beauty increased my level of happiness in a way I don’t think I’ll realize until later,” she says.  Although she returned to Saudi Arabia, she may work as a research technician at a lab in the Seattle area next spring.

One thing this ambitious graduate looks forward to is time to relax.  Even so, she confesses, “I will probably continue to push myself to the limit. I say I want more time, but then I go and sign up for as many things as I can possibly fit into my schedule.”