Sarah Cahalan '14 | March 10, 2019
In a typical year, around 200 Notre Dame students go into finance after graduation. Nearly as many become consultants. Another hundred each go on to med school or a job in technology.
When he graduates in May, Alex Mansour plans to become a composer.
Well, that isn’t accurate exactly — though he’s still a full-time student, Mansour is already a composer. If you’ve been to a football game or watched a Notre Dame promo video in the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard some of his tunes. But in a few months, the darling of the music department will be taking his talents to the big leagues.
During his three-and-a-half years at Notre Dame, Mansour has become something of a go-to for departments around campus in need of new instrumental music. A shortlist of his assignments? Write background music for the University’s capital campaign video. Come up with a soundtrack for football hype shots on the stadium’s video board. Debut a composition for the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra. Score the Sorin play, and the Hesburgh documentary. On top of that, he is preparing a senior recital for his major in cello performance while juggling the rest of college life — including the 56 hours of non-music classes he’s had to take in order to graduate.
Had Mansour gone to a traditional music conservatory, he likely could have skipped that last requirement. But he also would have missed out, he says, on much of what he was looking for in his college experience.
“To go to conservatory as a cellist, I would have become a really tremendous cellist — an orchestral cellist, a soloist, or whatever it would be. But I wasn’t ready to go that route,” he says. “So Notre Dame was really nice in the sense that I could study a lot of different things both musically and in the liberal arts as well.”
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