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Department ofClassics


Elizabeth Jonasson headshot

Elizabeth Jonasson headshot

Pursuing Second Degree, Elizabeth Jonasson '19 Researches Composition and Language

REAL creative project allows Jonasson to create new music

REAL creative project allows Jonasson to create new music

By Ally O’Connor '20

Twenty-six years after earning her B.A. in Art from UC Santa Cruz, Elizabeth Jonasson '19 (Music, Latin & French) is now pursuing a second undergraduate degree in Music at Santa Clara University. Alongside her major and double-minor, Jonasson is honing her passions for composition, language, and their intersection as a REAL Scholar via a summer-long Latin independent study program at the guidance of Prof. Lissa Crofton-Sleigh (Classics).

A transfer student from Cabrillo College in Aptos, Jonasson has always been drawn to piano and music composition, and has released two musical CDs in the past several years, but says the REAL Program has nonetheless given her “such a fantastic learn about [herself]” and gain new insight into the music she loves.

“Most choral singers do not understand the words that they are singing,” Jonasson, a member of the University choir, explains, “and therefore, [they] feel disconnected from the song’s meaning.” Hoping to change this choral norm, Jonasson has begun to create her own Latin poem after Ovid’s Metamorphoses. She intends to use as lyrics for a new composition that she describes as a combination of her love for language and her love for musical composition. Jonasson aims to perform the final piece at SCU in Fall 2018, which will serve as her cumulative final project for her REAL internship through the Department of Classics.


About the REAL Program

The College of Arts and Sciences developed the REAL Program to allow students to discover their interests, gain a rich understanding of a particular field, discern their career goals, and explore future employment fields. We believe financial means should not determine whether or not a student can participate in internships, research, or creative works opportunities. Committed to providing paid experiential learning opportunities for students, the REAL program provides stipends up to $5,000 for undergraduate opportunities lasting up to 10 weeks over the summer. In 2018, its first year, the REAL Program distributed $550,000 to over 125 students.

For more information about the REAL Program, email


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