Chloe King combines the expression of music and the passion for helping others through healthcare
MAY 23, 2023 BY LEXI DOUGLAS
Between writing musical pieces for performance and preparing for medical school, Chloe King has had her hands full throughout her time at the University of Mississippi.
A music major and a double minor in biology and chemistry with a 4.0 grade point average, King has spent plenty of time in both musical and scientific courses during her four years at UM, combining her major with courses necessary for medical school while engaging in numerous extracurricular activities.
“I’ve taken 18-20 hours every semester, so I had to get strategic with time management,” King said. “As much as I wanted to be involved in other areas as well, most extracurricular activities, clubs, meetings, and even class review sessions fell afternoons and evenings that I had rehearsals or performances, so it took a while to figure out ways to be involved that didn’t conflict. I enjoy staying busy and I am thankful that I have been able to continue with music while pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor.”
At the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, every student that spends the full four years is responsible for the creation and defense of their senior thesis, and King completed just that, explaining how she came up with her idea.
“In my junior year, I decided to compose a musical piece before I graduated,” she said. “Since I was responsible for a thesis anyway, I included the areas of study I enjoy: music theory, music history, and percussion ensembles. I finished composing the piece in January, and my thesis is an analysis of what I wrote and how it compares to other musical works.”
King’s thesis work, The Butterfly Effect, includes percussive instruments and other students.
“The Butterfly Effect was intended to be a marimba solo, but I had more musical ideas than I could accomplish alone, so I expanded it to percussion trio. I stay on the marimba while my two accompanying percussionists, Mar Bombelli and Zac Castro, play vibraphone, glockenspiel (bells), and xylophone,” she said. “The piece starts with the more resonant instruments to create a dreamlike effect, and the xylophone later adds more liveliness to the music.”
This is not the first time King has been a part of such a performance, however, as she details her most impactful experience at UM.
“As a music major, I put together a senior recital of nine pieces of repertoire including solo and ensemble pieces,” she said. “It was a culmination of 11 years of learning the art of percussion, and it was a representation of my work as a music major at Ole Miss. It was one of my favorite performances because I shared it with many friends who were on some of the pieces and played for other friends and family that had never seen me perform before. I even performed a duet with Bruce Levingston, an internationally acclaimed pianist and the Artist in Residence at the Honors College.”
In addition to recitals and performances, King holds the title of the first female drum captain in The Pride of The South marching band at UM. She explains the importance of this achievement and how this impacts girls who may decide to go down this route.
“I think young girls that are choosing what band instrument they will play might be more inclined to choose a male dominated instrument, like percussion, if they see more women that have taken the path all the way through college. Maybe it could even help recruit more women to join the drumline here. Even when I was in middle school, percussion was not an instrument that I thought about choosing, but that is just how it turned out. It doesn’t have to be intimidating,” she said. “I had a very positive experience being drum captain here, and many of the other members became some of my closest friends.”
King plans to continue on her track to medical school after graduating, which she did this spring.
“I am taking a gap year, so I will start the process of applying for medical school this summer,” she said. “While I do that, I plan to stay in Oxford where I hope to work in healthcare and stay involved with the worship team at my church.”
“After that, I hope to attend medical school, become a practicing physician, and eventually return to the South to give back to the region that raised me.”