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Student Success Story Spotlight: Vanessa Biliey

Coordinating the annual Washington State Solo & Ensemble Contest, acting as the Collegiate President of the Washington Music Educators Association and CWU NAfME President are just a few ways Music Education Major Vanessa Bliley fills her time. And this is just her volunteer hours. It doesn’t include the time spent earning money to cover tuition costs and living expenses, teaching Oboe lessons to local middle school students, acting as camp counselor at CWU Leadership and Drum Major Camp and her office job in the music department at Central.


Attending Central was a natural choice for Bliley. Heavily influenced by her high school band directors, she chose to attend CWU after a few visits in high school. During her time here she has won multiple awards, participates in a variety of ensembles and has a 3.6 GPA.

“I chose Central for the environment, energy and high standard they hold. Especially in the music department,” Bliley said. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”

With the help of scholarships, Bliley is able to get the education she needs in order to pursue her dream as a music teacher in low-income schools. Bliley said anywhere she can teach, is the right place for her. She plans to eventually get her master’s degree and hopes to be a professor of music education at a university someday so she can, “spread the joy of music to future generations and make an impact.”

A recipient of the Presser Scholarship and Loran and Sheila Kollmorgen Scholarship, the funds could not have come at a better time for Bliley as she was, “going through some rough times.” Bliley said she is extremely grateful for and inspired by not only the support of her education, but to see people supporting music in general.

“Thank you for valuing music education and for viewing it as important as we [students] do, “Bliley said. “I can’t wait to get out there and make a difference.

To read more about student sucess stories and about other students like Vanessa, please click here.

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