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Spartans of UD - Braeden Collins

By University Relations Staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Braeden Collins, of Madison, Indiana, is a first-year aviation management and music double major who plays percussion. He is a member of the UD Concert Band, UD Handbell Ensemble, UD Marching Band, and UD Jazz Band. Collins will perform in Christmas at Heritage Center "All the Souls on Earth Shall Sing!" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2023, in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. Admission is free for UD students, and faculty and staff will receive one free ticket. For additional Christmas at Heritage Center ticket and performance information, please visit

Where does your passion for music come from?

"I found my passion in music at a very young age. Being in a musical family, I've been lucky enough to be able to pursue it my whole life - inside and outside of academic settings. Now, I find passion in the excitement of taking on challenges and learning from them, such as a new piece or instrument."

Christmas at Heritage Center features the talents of over 60 students in the UD ensembles, including the UD Chamber Singers, UD Concert Band, UD Concert Choir, UD Handbell Ensemble, and UD String Ensemble. What is it like to be part of a performance with so many ensembles?

"I'm ecstatic and honored to fill the roles I can in this performance. It's given me the chance to learn new styles of music, and I'm excited to show the diversity of our program."

What do you hope people will take away from Christmas at Heritage Center?

"I hope people who attend Christmas at Heritage Center see the versatility of our fine arts department. So many of UD's musicians participate in multiple groups; it really shows the talent we have."

How do you balance the UD Concert Band, UD Handbell Ensemble, UD Marching Band, and UD Jazz Band with your academics - especially as you prepare for Christmas at Heritage Center?

"Being a music major, I value my performance and progress in academics and the ensembles I'm in equally. I try to devote as much time and energy to preparing music and skills for performances as I would prepare for a test in any other class."

In your opinion, what makes the University of Dubuque unique?

"The amount of opportunities here at UD with its small school size allows me to explore many interests I wouldn't be able to anywhere else. From being in multiple ensembles to having a great work-study in Heritage Center, I feel like I've really been able to pursue my passions."