It’s a small world, and New Jersey is perhaps the smallest as it’s the most densely populated state in America. There are about 2,000 people per square mile in the state, and it also happens to have the largest number of students traveling out of state for college compared to any other state. I knew upon leaving for freshman year at Syracuse University that I was about to enter what may as well be another small New Jersey in and of itself, but it never explicitly occurred to me that I would meet someone who would become one of my best friends after spending my entire life less than a 10 minute drive from her.
Katie Canete (pronounced ken-yet-ay) is a junior in the Bandier Program for Recording and Allied Entertainment Industries at Syracuse University. In her New Jersey high school she was actively involved in marching band, which she’s continued through college. In marching band she plays flute, but she’s skilled in a number of instruments – it’s no secret that music is very, very important to Katie.
“I started pretty young, when I was 4, and discovered the upright piano in my family home. I would spend hours banging on the keys. Not long after, I was enrolled in piano lessons at my town’s music shop. In 4th grade, I signed up for my school’s concert band and learned flute. From there, I took guitar and voice lessons. Somewhere along the way I learned more instruments. I was always doing music growing up, and it came quite naturally to me. I’ve played in more ensembles than I can count, and I just love the feeling when everyone is in sync and creating aural art. Music can express any kind of emotion, and it is often more powerful than words alone.”
Her confidence in herself and her passion for music has allowed her to go after the things she wants for no reason more than that she wants them. She’s been publisher of 20 Watts magazine since spring 2015. She landed an internship at Sony ATV/Music Publishing in New York City this past summer – followed by a stint as a tour manager on Camplified. She manages to juggle schoolwork, a job, marching band, extracurriculars, friendships, a relationship and a social life, all while maintaining her sanity and a joy for life. In my eyes, she’s nothing short of superhuman.
Katie possesses an innate drive and focus that many struggle to uncover for much of their lives. Her passion revealed itself to her before she even entered kindergarten, and she’s followed it without question ever since.
“I knew in middle school that I had to keep music in my life in some capacity. There was no way it could remain solely a hobby, thus it had to be part of my career. I knew I couldn’t make it as a rock star Katy Perry pt. 2, so I thought the next option would be to work behind the scenes handling the business. I didn’t know too much about publishing before college, but I learned quickly. Because the music business is powered by songwriters and artists, they should be the ones compensated handsomely to sustain their work and keep the creative content alive. I want to be part of the sect that advocates for songwriters and sees the lucrative potential of publishing.”
She’s already got her sights set on law school after graduating from ‘Cuse, and after that she hopes to be living in a major city finally pursuing her dreams of working in the music business.
For now though, she’s perfectly content living and learning as a student at SU. She’s at the halfway point of college – two years down, two to go – and with so much having happened in the first half there’s no way to imagine all of the wonderful that will come out of the second half of her time here.
“Syracuse has helped me see that there is so much about the world I don’t know – and that’s a great thing. ‘Cuse has exposed me to different types of people and backgrounds which is a big change from New Providence. It’s given me another place I can call home.”
Surely one of her favorite parts of living in Orange Nation has been the Syracuse University Marching Band. This year she’s a section leader, and she seems just as excited about it as she was when she first stepped on the Carrier Dome turf.
“Marching band is one of the coolest things to do on campus. I made some of my first friends in band. It’s one of those things that’s hard to understand unless you’re in it. It’s just energy and fun all the time. It’s like a second family.”
Katie is someone who can make anyone feel like family. She is one of the single most likable people I’ve ever known, and (at the risk of sounding cheesy) she simply oozes good vibes. For Katie life is just adventure after adventure waiting to be had, and her attitude is contagious.
If more people were like her we’d live in a much more functional, much happier world. She gets sh*t done and has a smile on her face the whole time, eager to move forward on her path to unavoidable success. It’s pretty spectacular to know someone like Katie, and pretty wild that it took 18 years of living 10 minutes apart to find such a fantastic friend.