Music has been a lifelong love for Christian Solis. Growing up in Costa Rica, Solis attended school at the Instituto Nacional de la Música (the National Institute of Music) and began playing the clarinet at age 10.

When it came time for college, a professor recommended he apply to universities in the United States for more professional opportunities.

Cal Poly Pomona stood out to Solis for its culture of care.

“Cal Poly Pomona is the only school that took the time to meet me,” he says. “Dr. Rickey Badua and Dr. Dave Kopplin reached out and gave me the contact information of current students to hear about their experiences. There are not a lot of universities that care that much.”

At CPP, he’s performed as the principal clarinetist in the National Intercollegiate Band with top college musicians from round the nation, but the highlight of his college experience has been the students, faculty and staff on campus.

“I feel supported everywhere. I have a place here,” he says. Solis serves as a resident advisor, band manager, usher and stage manager to fund his education and support that of his sisters, who are also studying musical performance at different universities.

Solis is double majoring in music performance and music composition. He aspires to pursue a master’s degree, play clarinet professionally and compose music for film and television.

By Allison Cook
Published April 10, 2024