The sound of success
“It doesn't look like I got where I am by the most direct route, but then again — I did get here.”
Geneva prepares students to find and fulfill their calling—following God wherever He leads them. When Eric Sider ’00 graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, his journey had just begun.
After college, Sider worked with an engineering firm to design conveyor belt systems for the Library of Congress and a number of major corporations. He also earned his professional certification as an engineer.
Sider was a success in his profession, but something was missing. He began to wonder if God was calling him to a different field. Coming from a family of musicians, music had always been one of his passions. As a trumpet player, he participated in various campus activities, including Geneva’s stage band.
Sider decided it was time to make a change. “I toughed it out for a few years working in a cubicle and living frugally,” he says. Finally, he was ready to quit his career and pursue his calling by enrolling at Berklee College of Music in Boston to study jazz.
“Lots of people told me I would never earn as much money in music as in engineering,” Sider says. “But that's not a new insight—it’s just a description of what's different between musicians and engineers. The first step was the hard one. But because I had such a strong sense that this is what I was meant to do, it was very easy to view anything I had done before as just a preamble.”
After Berklee and a short stint as a freelance musician, Sider became part of the United States Navy Band of the Southwest. He is currently assigned at Coronodo Island, San Deigo, and is thrilled to be the jazz trumpet chair.
Sider has found the role God designed him to fill, fulfilling his mission as well as that of Geneva. “It seems incredibly unlikely for me to be where I am, and I guess that means the feeling that I had was right—that God really did construct me for a purpose,” he says. “It feels good to be working towards that purpose.”
- Laura Cerbus '08