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Bassoonist Sandra Bailey splits her time between Chicago and South Africa – and has been everywhere in between.

“Music defies all boundaries,”

she says. “I've traveled all across the world and there is always music and it is always inspirational.”

Currently the principal bassoon of both the Chicago Sinfonietta and Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic based in Durban, South Africa, the AYWS alumna has built a sparkling performance career in a short time since graduating from Northwestern University in 2015. She credits part of her career success to a simple yet valuable skill she acquired while playing with AYWS: punctuality. “[AYWS] taught me to show up on time,” she explains. “This is a lesson that has applied to every aspect of my adult life.”

Of course, she also nurtured her passion for music and discovered the importance of professionalism, high standards and musicianship while playing in the group. We can’t wait to see where in the world she will go next!