“Everything about my story is tied to music: it’s my passion, it’s my love, it’s going to be my job — It’s everything to me.”
Major: Music Performance
Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Involvement: CRLA-certified Master Tutor Level 3, licensed music teacher, Golden Key International
Honor Society, President’s Emerging Leaders Program, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda,
NAfME, STEA, APSU Academic Support Center, APSU Full Spectrum Learning program coordinator
Emmanuel Méjeun’s hopes of studying music in his home country metaphorically and literally came down around him on the morning on Jan. 12, 2010, as a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti — and brought down the walls of the third-floor rehearsal room in which Méjeun was practicing his French horn on the 19-year-old Port-au-Prince native.
“Before we realized (the earthquake) was serious, it was too late,” Méjeun said. “I thought I would be dead. I couldn’t move; I was there six-and-a-half hours, and I thought, ‘I am going to die.’” Méjeun was eventually freed through the tireless efforts of his father, Georges, but the recovery process facing his country forced the young musician to look to the United States to continue his education.
Learning of Austin Peay State University through a family connection, Méjeun made the journey to Clarksville, eventually graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. Méjeun remained at Austin Peay, finishing work on a master’s degree in music performance in Winter 2017.
Méjeun has plans to pursue a doctoral degree with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in higher education — an aspiration he credits both to his family in Haiti and the family and friends he made at Austin Peay’s Department of Music.
“Everything about my story is tied to music: it’s my passion, it’s my love, it’s going to be my job — It’s everything to me,” Méjeun said. The inviting nature of the Austin Peay community, Méjeun said, made his impossible dream a reality, and it is that generosity that he hopes to pay future to future students as he works towards a career as a college music professor.
“Every professor in Austin Peay’s music department is about more than just teaching; they’re about fostering a community,” Méjeun said. “They’re supportive, not just with pursuing a career in teaching music, but they’re there to support you as you go through life, offering help and advice along the way.”