5 Questions for Maria DiPalma

5 Questions for Maria DiPalma

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

Although Professor of Music Maria DiPalma heads Simpson’s prestigious Music Department, many people may be surprised to discover that that field was not her original interest.

“I started at Temple as a biology major,” DiPalma said. “Then I went to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.”

After receiving her Masters from the Philadelphia Music Academy, DiPalma worked at Younkers and an insurance company.

“Both [jobs] convinced me I didn’t want to do that,” she said.

DiPalma joined Simpson College in 1976. However, she did not join as a music faculty member.

“I spent four years as an admissions counselor, and then I became a full-time faculty member,” she said.

While at Simpson, DiPalma earned her Doctorate of Music degree from Indiana University.

As the chair of the Music Department, DiPalma has many responsibilities.

“I do some administrative work that helps the department,” she said. “I also teach Voice and a class in vocal literature.”

When she’s not at Simpson, DiPalma spends most of her free time doing various relaxing activities.

“I love to travel, I love gourmet cooking, and shopping is a total escape for me,” DiPalma said.

Overall, DiPalma enjoys her time at Simpson College helping students learn.

“It allows me to do what I love doing, which is being a musician and helping students become musicians,” she said.

DiPalma also offered advice to all students at college.

“They should take advantage of college, because it may be the last opportunity they have at bettering themselves,” she said. “It really is the only time you don’t have other obligations. It’s one of the only times you’re in charge of your own destiny.”