Charlie Urick: “Do What You Enjoy”

Charlie Urick:

Thomas Zakowski and Abby Wittler

Charlie Urick made his rounds around Notre Dame Academy last Monday, stopping by Mrs. Brown’s classroom and giving insight into his new life as a college student to the journalism class.

Urick is majoring in music business at the McNally Smith College of Music out in St.Paul Minnesota. He plays instruments such as the piano, guitar, bass, and bassoon. He also played a big role in last year’s NDA musical.

“It’s a blast,” he said about his time at McNally Smith so far.

McNally Smith College has about 600 students who are pursuing a career in the music industry.  In each class there are only about 4 to 5 students which Urick found great.

McNally Smith’s classes are all music related with no math or science classes available. Most students generally take the same classes as all other students their first year.

Urick has no time to waste. Outside of class he finds himself practicing three to four hours a day and playing gigs at nightclubs in the heart of Minneapolis at night. Aside from all of that Urick attends live music 3 to 4 times a week which can open up gig opportunities.

Urick rooms with Michael Schumacher, another NDA graduate in an apartment in St.Paul. Anxious to leave NDA and the high school scene, he has found that McNally Smith suits him well. Mrs. Salerno, NDA choral director and jazz pianist, introduced McNally Smith to Urick.

“Everyone is ridiculously good. They’re top of the line music wise,” Urick said about his classmates.  Urick said he was at a little  disadvantage coming to McNally Smith because others there had attended conservatory-like high schools that focused on music.   

“He’s a musician of great talent,” said English teacher Mrs. Brown.

Although uncertain what his future might be in the music field, Urick offered a brief statement of advice:  “Do what you enjoy.”

Another Version of the Urick Visit to Class

 by Abby Wittler

Charlie Urick, a 2017 graduate of Notre Dame Academy, is now attending McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

This school is not a traditional college, but rather a conservatory or a music-based establishment of only 600 students. There are no general education classes, just music courses. Urick is majoring in music business and minoring in vocal performance.

Throughout his life Urick has learned to play many instruments such as the bass, ukulele, piano and guitar. He is also a very talented singer who performed throughout high school and continues to do so as he goes to college.

Urick said that he “wasn’t very good at the high school thing” because he cared more about music than anything else that was going on, and at times he could be a little lazy about his school work.

Now that he is in a completely music-centered environment he sees live music four to five times a week, practices his own music for three to four hours a day, and does live performances when he gets the opportunity to do so.

Even though Urick is very talented he sometimes feels below the other students at his school because they are all so talented and many of them went to music conservatories for their high school education.

He says he has to “work pretty hard” to keep up with his peers, but he is happy to do so because he is working for what he loves.

This school also varies from many other schools in that there are only six hundred students that attend at a time so some of his classes have only five students.

Most students take the same classes aside from electives the first year so they can find what they like and then they branch out into specific fields that they would like to go into.

Urick learned about this school from NDA choir director Christine Salerno, someone he said was a great help for him throughout high school. To be accepted at McNally Smith, Urick had to send in an audition tape to the school before going to audition in person.

Although he does not know what he wants to do specifically in the long run, he knows that he would like to become involved in the school musical at McNally Smith and learn more about the music business as he goes.

Urick stressed the idea of pursuing your passion and doing what you enjoy because he believes you will do something better if you are happy doing it.