Chicago native Dylan Flynn attended Bard College, where he earned a B.A. in liberal arts with a concentration in music (focusing on theory and composition). After graduation, he worked part-time as a receptionist for two cardiologists’ offices in Chicago while searching for a job in New York.
How long have you worked at Juilliard, and what do you remember about your first day?
I have worked at Juilliard since August 2007. When I first started here, my colleagues immediately asked me about my compositions and musical interests. The greatest thing about Juilliard is the sense of community that exists here. Everyone truly cares for everyone else; there is a strong sense of togetherness, and everyone here takes an interest in others.
What is the strangest or most memorable job you’ve ever had and what made it so?
I held an internship between my junior and senior years of college, during which I conducted ethnomusicology research for an upcoming exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. I spent one day a week at the museum doing research and compiling information and another day out in the field traveling throughout Brooklyn, visiting many ethnic music stores. It was a great internship and I had a lot of fun.
What job at Juilliard would you like to try out for a day and why?
Oh gosh, must I only pick one? There are so many jobs here I’d like to try out for a day. I think Alison Scott-Williams’s position as associate vice president for diversity and campus life must be incredibly challenging and rewarding, working on diversity and campus life issues related to the Juilliard community.
Do you still pursue music, and if so, how do you balance your job and your artistic endeavors?
I do find it difficult to balance my passion for music with my career, but I try to find a balance between the two by taking advantage of Juilliard’s Evening Division classes. I have found the professors and material absolutely intriguing, as they challenge me in new ways and on new levels. I also try my best to compose regularly, applying what I’ve learned in my classes to my new pieces.
What CD are you listening to right now?
I’m currently listening to two CDs: a disc of Sarasate’s violin music and a two-disc collection of Corelli’s Concerti Grossi. I absolutely adore the sound and style of Spanish and Baroque music.
What was the best vacation you’ve had and what made that trip so special?
Last summer I went to Los Angeles for a week, and stayed with a friend in Pasadena. We took a short road trip down to San Diego, making stops along the way in the beautiful Orange County oceanside towns of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. On the way back to L.A., we stopped in La Jolla at sunset: needless to say, we were sorry to leave. The scenery, atmosphere, and food were absolutely incredible.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a cartography nerd. I love maps as much as I love music! I love to draw both large- and small-scale maps of imaginary cities. I also collect folding maps, map books, and atlases. When I was young, my parents gave me a pocket-sized booklet that listed all the streets of Chicago, which I quickly memorized.
What other pursuits are you passionate about?
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved trains. When I was growing up, my mom and (mostly) dad spent countless hours taking me for rides on Chicago’s El, Metra, and South Shore lines. I also enjoyed visiting train stations and train viaducts, observing and taking pictures of trains as they passed by. (Thanks, mom and dad!) The father of a friend of mine in grade school used to get copies of National Railway Bulletin and some other train magazines, which he’d then pass on to me.
If out of the blue your boss said to take the day off, what would you do with your free time?
I would probably spend the day walking through the city with my headphones on, taking in the atmosphere of the city, a park, and the beautiful architecture. I’d visit some music stores, go shopping, and maybe go to a museum or ride a subway line to explore another neighborhood. I would also treat myself to a nice lunch and dinner.
What is your favorite thing about New York City?
I think it is so great how integrated the entire city is—all five boroughs. It’s refreshing that individuals of all backgrounds and identities live together in the same neighborhoods, and the same buildings.