My Music. My Story. Mollie Gnaidek.

Words by Alex Spees

Mollie Gnaidek is a recent graduate of Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, where she majored in accounting. She participated in music ensembles at Valparaiso High School and at Saint Mary’s. Mollie moved to Indianapolis in May of 2022 for her job as an external auditor with PrincewaterhouseCoopers. Even though she is not directly involved with music anymore, her love of music is still strong.

What is your favorite kind of music, and why?

I think my favorite kind of music at the moment is jazz-inspired soft pop, such as Laufey. I love the blend between the new pop elements and traditional jazz techniques. My favorite kind of music changes quite a bit, but The Beatles will always be my favorite band of all time. I find The Beatles’ methodologies and techniques to be extremely impressive. I also love how I can connect to others with music. I saw Paul McCartney in New York this past May, which was an extraordinary experience.

How has music influenced your life? Similarly, how did your experience with music in high school and college impact your life?

Mollie at her last high school show choir concert in the spring of 2018

I have always been surrounded by music. When I was a little girl, I would watch my mom play the piano. I remember sitting on the bench beside her, completely in awe of her talent. Like my mom, I wanted to be involved in music, so I joined my elementary school’s choir in fourth grade. I remained in a choir for the next eleven years until the pandemic and college schedule conflicts caused me to leave my college’s chorus. My experiences in choir taught me confidence and the importance of teamwork. High school was when I really became interested in music. I was involved in my school’s women’s chorus, concert chorus, and show choir. I also taught myself to play piano and guitar. I even wrote my college essays on the importance of music in my life. In my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to travel to New York City and perform at Carnegie Hall. I cannot even put into words how incredible that was. I think that music also influences my mood sometimes. For example, if I am having an especially bad day, I will listen to more upbeat music to force myself into a good mood.

How would you describe your relationship with music now?

Unfortunately, my relationship with music is not as strong as it used to be now that I am no longer in school. I still listen to music every day, but I miss performing. I don’t play guitar or piano as much as I used to, either. I think finding time for music in my post-graduate life should be a goal of mine moving forward. I want a stronger relationship with music and feel the same way about it as I did in high school. 

How do you think music influences your new home in Indianapolis? 

I think music brings the Indianapolis community together. For example, a few weeks ago, I walked by one of the Clowes Lawn Series concerts at Butler University. I cannot recall who was performing, but I noticed that the audience was incredibly diverse. I saw groups of college students, older couples, families, and friends. I had a similar experience when I attended an outdoor jazz concert at Eagle Creek Park. I think music has the potential to unite groups that would otherwise be disconnected, so music should have a strong presence in all communities. Unfortunately, this is not the case for a lot of places. Even though I have only lived here for a couple of months, I think the city of Indianapolis and its community value music and the arts.

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