Psychology & Music
Kayla Benson is from Princeton, North Carolina and graduated in the spring of 2019 with degrees in psychology and music. Kayla received a music department scholarship as a freshman and was able to maintain this scholarship for all four years. She was proud to have served as president of Psi Chi Psychology Honors Society and to have worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant within the psychology department. Kayla was proud to have won the 2019 Concerto Competition hosted by the music department, where she was able to perform as a soloist with the band on their spring concert. Kayla said that being a member of the honors college was rewarding because “the connections I made and the experiences I had opened up so many doors for me.” Serving as a service-learning teaching assistant is a huge accomplishment for Kayla, as she has taken service-learning classes in the honors college throughout her time at UNCP.
For Kayla’s senior project she worked with Mrs. Sarah Busman to arrange Germain Tailleferre’s (1892-1983) string quartet. The quartet is in three movements, and was originally written for two violins, viola, and cello, but Kayla arranged the piece for flute quintet: piccolo, two flutes, alto flute, and bass flute. Kayla chose Tailleferre because she is a lesser known female composer, but still created incredible music. For this project, she researched program notes and then arranged the flute quartet. At the end of the semester, she performed the arranged quartet piece live at the Honors College Senior Project Symposium.
After graduation, Kayla continued to conduct research at UNCP with Dr. Ashley Allen while applying for psychology graduate programs. She encourages honors students who are music majors to “stick with it. People try to say students cannot be in the music program and be an honors student, but it is possible!” Her greatest memory at UNCP was meeting her freshman roommate, Megan Brinson, and living with her all four years. Kayla said, “I am so thankful to have met my best friend through the Honors College.”
Mentor: Sarah Busman
String Quartet for Five Flutes: A New Look at Germaine Tailleferre's String Quartet