Students talking to each other in front of posters

Grace Johnson

Image of Grace Johnson

Grace Johnson

Rhinebeck , NY

Academic School

Social and Behavioral Sciences


New York

I've lived in the Hudson Valley all my life. Being only half an hour away in Rhinebeck, NY, I commute to campus every day.

I have chosen to study Mathematics and Adolescent Education; I want to be a middle or high school math teacher. Even though I am interested in music, unfortunately, I am unable to minor in music due to scheduling conflicts.  

My first interaction with Marist was in high school. Every Spring, my concert band would travel to campus and work with Art Himmelberger, the Director of Bands. This day-long field trip became something the whole band would look forward to. At the end of the day, we left campus having learned so much. From the first year on, I found that when we headed to campus, I got butterflies and was excited. When making my college decision, I reflected on that feeling. I realized that college is the first step towards my future and I wanted to be excited when I take that first step.

I have always had an interest in music. One of my clearest memories was in seventh-grade when we had to choose our schedules for the following year. The biggest decision for me was art class or chorus/band. I chose chorus and band instead of art, and for some reason, I can distinctly remember checking off the box. Looking back, I am so happy I made that choice. By the end of high school, I was involved in Chorus, Women’s Choir, Band, Drama Club, and was somehow roped into playing maracas for the steel drum band. I am still not sure how that happened…

Music was my anchor in school. No matter how my other classes were going, I knew I could walk down to the chorus or band room and just escape. There were some days when I would sit in my band teacher’s office, have a cup of tea, maybe eat some Oreos, and just relax. When I started college, I was hesitant about getting involved in too much, so I didn’t join any choirs or clubs. A couple of months into my first semester, I realized how badly I needed my anchor. I felt like a plastic water bottle that was twisted so tightly the cap was about the pop-off. The next day I emailed the Executive Board for Marist Singers and joined the Freshman Women’s Choir. (So much for the whole “hesitant about getting involved in too much,” now I am on the Board for Singers!) I am so incredibly happy that I sent that email. Being part of the Marist Singers family has truly been a highlight of my college experience.