In Perfect Harmony
“I love that I get to do everything that my heart desires right now. And I’m so grateful for the experiences that Central has allowed for me to have and can’t wait for what’s to come.”
— Mackenzie Biggs ’24
Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois
Major: Music Education – Instrumental
Scholarships: Presidential, Trustee, Journey, and Vermeer Music
Campus Activities: Women’s Golf and Campus Ministries
Career Goal: Music Teacher
Getting involved at Central College is par for the course for Mackenzie Biggs ’24. The ability to be involved in everything her heart desires at Central has Biggs sinking putts and inspiring young musicians in perfect harmony.
A violin closet, handmade by her great grandfather, held more than 100 violins — and a promise from her grandmother: If then six-year-old Biggs one day chose to play the violin, she would be gifted one of the stringed instruments of her dreams. So, with a promise and a dream, her musical journey began to crescendo.
Biggs, a Bloomington, Illinois, native and music aficionado has spent the past 14 years honing her craft. And yes, she got to pick out a violin for herself!
“Over the years I’ve kind of had my eye on a few of them,” she says. “But I did finally settle on one and even have it here at Central that I get to play at violin juries and in the orchestra concerts. I absolutely love it!”
Now, as a music education major at Central with an instrumental track, she has learned how to play other instruments — including clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, marimba, drums and has even tried her hand at Central’s enviable harpsichord — in preparation for educating burgeoning young musicians in her future career.
“I love the idea that I can make as much of an impact as my great-grandfather on other kids at a young age and when they’re just beginning in music,” Biggs says. “If they get started young, they’ll probably do it forever, and that means so much to me.”
Biggs also dreamed about being a college athlete from a young age. At Central, she’s been able to achieve this goal as well in being a part of the women’s golf team. “Part of the reason for choosing Central was because I wanted to be a music education major, but I also wanted to be an athlete and play golf,” she says. “Other schools I looked at weren’t as excited about me trying to do both. Central welcomed and encouraged it and told me that’s exactly what they were looking for in me coming here.”
When she’s not learning how to play a new instrument or tuning up her golf game, you’ll find Biggs making new connections on and off campus. One of the ways she’s been impacting student life at Central is through her involvement with campus ministries. “Spending time with others who are going to uplift me and speak into my faith is really important,” she says. “This helps me in getting out into the real world and focusing on my relationship with Christ. Giving all the glory to Him all of the time.”
Biggs’ connections at Central even landed her a major opportunity. John Helmich, adjunct professor of music and Central Music Academy instructor, helped her land a gig in Grinnell, Iowa. As the youngest instrumentalist there, Biggs was shocked to be approached by professional musicians afterward. She was asked to play in an orchestra for the highest-selling American band in U.S. history: The Eagles. In a matter of weeks, Biggs went from playing her first gig at a funeral to living “Life in the Fast Lane” — her favorite song by The Eagles — and playing violin for the Grammy winning group at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines!
Some advice that Biggs would give to prospective students looking at Central begins and ends with opportunities. “Central provides so many opportunities to get involved with,” she says. “Be willing to try new things. Be up for whatever comes your way. And know that at Central, it’s all for your best interest.”
Central has given Biggs the opportunity and confidence to go after her dreams.
“I love it. I just love Central,” she says. “I love that I get to do everything that my heart desires right now. And I’m so grateful for the experiences that Central has allowed for me to have and can’t wait for what’s to come.”