Susanna Carson '12: "This is a school where I have the chance
to grow as a musician and as a person."
Every time Randolph-Macon College student Susanna Carson ’12 walks
by the Mary Branch dormitory, she thinks of her mother. That’s because Carson’s
mother is a Randolph-Macon College alumna who lived in Mary Branch for two years.
“I even know which room she lived in, and when I pass it on the way to class I think
of it as ‘Mom’s room,’” she says.
The family ties to R-MC don’t end there. Carson’s father, grandfather, great-uncle
and first cousin are also Randolph-Macon alumni. “The campus felt like home right
away because of my family’s history here,” says Carson, a
music major from Richmond, Virginia. “I also was attracted to the music
program. This is a school where I have the chance to grow as a musician and as a
person. I applied for early acceptance, and when I got the news it was such a relief.
Randolph-Macon was the only college I wanted to attend, and I'm here!”
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Carson studies the pipe organ at R-MC and plans on being a church organist. “It
seems like an odd hobby, but I really enjoy it,” she says. Every Sunday she shares
her talent by playing the organ at the Tomahawk Baptist Church. “Without my musical
education at R-MC I'm not sure I could take on this responsibility,” she says. She
practices every day at Duncan Memorial Church, which she considers a “very loving
community and a great campus resource.”
Carson is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a music honors fraternity. “It is great to
work alongside a talented group of people who are passionate about music,” she says.
“When we have chapter meetings, we share performances—nothing too grand, just what
we have been working on—and we perform at various music events on campus. It has
been a great way to get students together to support each other and make music.”
“The opportunity to travel is one of the things I love about Randolph-Macon,” says
Carson. “Since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to see the world.” She seems well
on her way: As a freshman, she traveled to Paris during J-term. “It was amazing,”
she says. “I am currently taking a French-language course because of that trip.”
During her sophomore year, Carson traveled with
R-MC’s choir to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France during J-term.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, singing in so many beautiful cathedrals
with the choir,” she says. “It was during that trip that I discovered my love of
religious studies, which is my minor.”
There is one moment from that trip that Carson says she’ll never forget. “We went
to Leipzig, Germany and sang in the St. Thomas Church,” she says. “This is the same
church where Johann Sebastian Bach served as an organist and is now buried.” She
admits to shedding a few tears when a guest organist suddenly began to play. “Wouldn't
you cry, too, if you had studied Bach’s music for seven years and heard organ music
in the building in which he played?” she asks. “As an organist, it was a dream come
For information about R-MC’s music program, visit http://www.rmc.edu/academics/music.aspx.
For information about R-MC’s religious studies program, visit
For more information about the breadth of programs and opportunities available at
Randolph-Macon or to schedule a campus visit, contact our Admissions Office at (800)
888-1762 or at email@example.com.