20 Under 40 Q&A: Jeremy CraycraftAssistant professor at the College of St. Scholastica and professional musician.
Get to know Jeremy Craycraft
Occupation: Assistant professor at the College of St. Scholastica and professional musician.
What do you actually do? Direct music ensembles, teach music courses and perform in various regional groups.
Years in your job: Starting sixth year at St. Scholastica.
Education: Bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate in music performance.
Family: Wife, Nicole; sons Brendan, 8, and Evan, 5; daughter, Leah, 3.
Community involvement: Music services for Holy Rosary, First Lutheran, Pilgrim Congregational, First United Methodist Church, CHUM Christmas concert, Kiwanis. Outreach music programs for nearly every elementary and middle school (public & private) in our area and a few preschools. Recipient of grants to provide drumming instruction to local schools through Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and the Beim Foundation.
Perform regularly with Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and Northern Lights Music Festival.
What brought you to the Twin Ports?
After finishing my doctoral residency at Cincinnati, I took a part-time job at the University of Wisconsin-Superior teaching percussion/music — that was eight years ago.
What do you like to do during your free time?
Reading, hiking, skiing, poker (difficult to teach my kids, but we are getting there!).
Describe your favorite place in the Twin Ports.
I am lucky enough to live next to one of the many amazing creeks in our area. There are numerous spots along Tischer Creek that are simply breathtaking — great for a run, great for a picnic, a conversation, a swim, a dog bath, a “break,” you name it.
What do you like most about the Northland?
The Northland has an identity: It’s beautiful, it’s charming, it’s interesting (history/tourism) and, most importantly, it’s a great place to raise a family.
How can the Northland retain younger people?
The arts/cultural scene in Duluth is great for a city of our size; I am constantly surprised by the breadth of activities that one can find in our area. We must continue to keep supporting the arts in our community despite budget cuts and the downsizing of the humanities in our schools. People want to live in cities with a vibrant fine arts scene — especially young people!
Who or what has made the biggest impact on your life?
I have never met anyone who works as hard as my mother! If I get lazy or lose focus for a time, I think of her efforts to raise me under difficult circumstances and then my perspective returns to normal — work hard and be grateful for what you have.
What are you most passionate about?
Be a role model for my children and my students: to be passionate about life despite its up-and-downs, to care about our planet and our relationships (and world peace — the “small” things in life!).
How have social and business networking sites changed your life?
Not much. My job dictates that face-to-face relationships be nurtured and appreciated.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Getting a doctorate and full-time teaching job are basically tied together here, and since they both took the longest to achieve, that would have to be my biggest accomplishment.
What goals have you set for the next 5-10 years?
Create a program at St. Scholastica that is recognized by the local (and greater hopefully) community as being positive, engaging and vital to our arts scene.
What advice would you give other young people?
It’s cliché, but I never gave up on my dream (see above). If you love the Twin Ports (which I have grown to), then you find a way to make a life here.
Comments: Nothing to add, I am grateful for this recognition and will do my best to live up to the honor.