Alumnus advocates for the arts
Xavier Boudreaux builds career at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Xavier Boudreaux admits he never expected to be working in arts management at one of the premier performance venues in the United States. In fact, he had interviewed for a position in the venue’s gift shop a few years earlier but decided to focus on his master’s instead.
Since 2018, the alumnus of the MSU College of Music has worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where, as a member of the Education Division, he works on the music education team. It’s a post, he said, that has transformed his life, and builds on his dream to help uplift communities through the arts.
“There are days when you’re running around and stressed,” he said. “But if you stop and look up at the chandeliers or at the bust of JFK you realize you’re part of something great.”
As the program assistant for music education, Boudreaux provides administrative and logistical support for year-round events and initiatives held at the center. Some days he’s organizing daily rehearsals for the center’s youth fellowship program with the National Symphony Orchestra; other days he’s welcoming audiences to special performances. Managing financial procurement needs, invoice payments and website updates for various music education programs fall within his purview, as does processing applications, records and correspondence for students and fellows.
“I’m constantly on the move,” he said. “I never have a problem reaching my step goal.”
Boudreaux received his bachelor of music from MSU in 2013 after studying flute and serving as a drum major for the Spartan Marching Band. Shortly after, he earned a master’s in flute performance from Syracuse University, and moved home to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to be close to his parents and begin his search for opportunities in the arts. To broaden his career possibilities, Boudreaux moved to Washington, D.C. He began a second master’s in arts management at the American University and landed a fellowship at the Kennedy Center. Within two years, he was hired into his current full-time post.
“I got to a point where I had so many experiences artistically and in leadership that I knew I wanted to combine them into something,” he said. “Having that drive for excellence from MSU helped shape my education and career.”
MSU Professor of Flute Richard Sherman said he never doubted that Boudreaux’s discipline, aptitude and genuine warmth toward others would help him find his way toward a successful career.
“Xavier is an example of what it means to love music,” said Sherman. “He never took anything for granted. He was proud of being a Spartan. He shows how vision and hard work can take you far.”
Boudreaux said he will continue to build experiences in arts management, and to aspire to a long, fulfilling career centered on music education programs.
“And of course, I still play and practice my flute,” he said. “There are a lot of great local and regional orchestras in this area, and I’m always looking for opportunities to play.”