Park senior thrives in ICM

Shelby Adkins, Editor-In-Chief

Music is a passion for many people, and it something that can unite all walks of life. David Horak, a Park University senior and ICM concertmaster, has always loved music and the impact it can have on people.

Horak grew up in Vermont and took lessons in violin and piano for most of his life. He fell in love with music from an early age and knew he wanted to share music with others for years to come.

Despite coming from a homeschool background, Horak knew that going to a university was his next step in life. He began to search for universities that could help him hone his craft, and the ICM seemed to be a perfect fit to pursue a bachelor of music in violin performance.

The International Center for Music at Park University appealed to Horak mostly due to its European approach to lessons and one-on-one time with instructors.

“The fact that the school was giving two lessons a week for students—it’s unheard of in the United States,” Horak said. “It’s a very European thing to have a lot of personal attention from your instructor, and that was appealing.”

The intimate setting was a large appeal for Horak, and it was an opportunity he had trouble finding elsewhere.

“There are a lot of big conservatories on the east coast, Julliard and the big names, where there are hundreds of people. But at the ICM, the violin teacher had 11 students when I auditioned,” Horak said.

He said he felt he had a better chance to succeed in the ICM, as opposed to other larger conservatories, not only because of the lessons’ structure but because of the academic opportunities as well.


“It was appealing to come to this school because there was the aspect of the balance to get some academics as well just the music stuff,” Horak said. “At big conservatories, they might not even have a writing class, it’s just instantly music focused.”

ICM students are required to complete general education courses, and other music courses rooted in theories. Horak has enjoyed his experience so much that he has chosen to stay at Park and earn a non-degree graduate certificate.

This is largely in part to the instructors in the ICM, specifically Professor of Music and Violin Ben Sayevich.

“I am actually going to stay two more years for a graduate certificate just because I feel like I can get a lot more out of him,” Horak said. “The lessons are really unbelievable; I haven’t met anybody like Professor Sayevich in that regard. I mean he is brilliant and just a wonderful guy. It’s always a pleasure to have lessons with him and interact with him.”

Horak set out in search of a university that could help him to pursue a career in music, something the ICM has been able to do.

“I haven’t jumped at the opportunity just timing wise. I feel like investing some more time at the school and studying has been good for a few years, and then thinking about an audition,” Horak said. “But I feel like I’m definitely on the right track for the mentality of an audition and the playing itself.”

After his time at the ICM, Horak plans to someday audition for an orchestra and fulfill his dream of sharing music with the masses.

“I have always loved music, and I’ve always had a desire to perform and allow people to hear music, because I think that is something we are getting less of now-a-days—The live performance aspect of it at least,” Horak said.