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Student Voices

  • Kristyn Taggart

Breannin Beelow ‘13


Mundelein, Ill.


Music Theatre, Theatre

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the rocks by the lake. It is a great place to relax and watch the waves.”

Breannin Beelow ’13, can sum up what she’s learned during her time at Carthage in a single phrase: Enjoy the experience. She certainly has. From performances to international travel, she’s making the most of her time here. In January 2012, she traveled to Roatan, Honduras, for J-Term and became certified in SCUBA diving in order to study the biodiversity of the coral reefs and rainforests.

“J-Term is one of the most amazing things about Carthage,” she said. “It gives you an opportunity to learn about different cultures, travel the world, and you get credit for it.”

“When I was a freshman, there was a music course offered in J-Term to Namibia, Africa,” Breannin said. “This was honestly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We learned all about their culture and how music affects their lives.”

The effect that music and theatre can have on another person is the reason Breannin decided to study music theatre in the first place. She wanted to make people feel the joy that she felt after watching a show. She knew that the Carthage Music Theatre and Opera Program would help her achieve this goal.

“The Music and Theatre departments here at Carthage are really fantastic,” Breannin said. “Since we are such a small school, people don’t realize it, but our teachers here at Carthage are the best of the best. They really care about you and your career goals. I have a great relationship with all of my teachers. I have grown so much as a singer and performer because of them.”

Career goal

“I would like to perform in beautiful Chicago — whether it is on a big stage or in the back of a café. It is what I love to do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Favorite professor

“I have learned so much from every music professor. If I had to pick one, it would have to be Corinne Ness. She was born to be a teacher. She knows exactly what to say to help me understand. She has definitely made me a better singer. I have grown so much and I know it is thanks to her.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been Music Theatre Workshop. Every semester we do something different. We work on scenes and songs, or a full musical throughout the semester. It is great experience and all four teachers (Corinne Ness, Lorian Schwaber, Greg Berg, and Matt Boresi) are fantastic.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was keyboarding. I came into Carthage never touching a piano in my life. It was very difficult for me to understand it. I can honestly say, however, that it is the most rewarding. Now that I am done with all four keyboarding classes, I am so thankful for them. It has helped me grow as a music major.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in Lambda Kappa which is the Professional Music Fraternity where I held the position of Activities Director and am currently Co-Head for our annual Masquerade Ball. Also I am in Alpha Psi Omega the Professional Theatre Fraternity, and I am currently the Pledge Master.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“The huge snow storm last year. It was like the movie Day After Tomorrow. But it was so much fun! Everyone was playing in the snow like we were in grade school. Best memory ever. I also love Christmas Fest. It is breathtaking watching the candles fill the chapel. If you have never experienced Christmas Fest, you need too. It starts off the Christmas season.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“My biggest surprise so far has been the opportunities I have received. I would like to thank the Theatre and Music Departments for this.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Have fun! These majors are very challenging but worth it. You need to work very hard, but also remember to enjoy it. That’s why you want to do it in the first place!”


Elizabeth Reinhardt
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …