During her final semester at UMass Lowell, a dream came true for Maddie May Scott, drummer with the all-female hard rock quartet Flight of Fire.
Scott’s band was invited by rock royalty Melissa Etheridge to join the all-star lineup playing on Etheridge’s annual seven-night spring cruise. The opportunity melded two of Scott’s aspirations – to be in a touring rock band and to be a cruise ship musician. 
The cruise was “incredible,” says Scott. Flight of Fire played three shows, signed autographs and jammed with other musicians – “ranging from Guns N’ Roses with a country singer to AC/DC with a violinist.” 
Flight of Fire was called onstage to play with Joan Osborne and Sarah Peacock, and “we got to hang out with Melissa and she was so cool – such a laid-back rock star.”
Scott says she drank in her time in the “tight-knit community of musicians.”
“The thing I like about this school is that it is so balanced,” says Scott. “I would probably be bored if it was just music I studied or was exposed to. But there’s a lot of variety on campus. And there are things going on all the time.”
Scott, who grew up in France, is passionate about music, but languages are also important to her, to the extent that she added a second major in Spanish and French to her music studies. “I need to keep my French up,” she says. On campus, she worked as a French tutor at the UML Centers for Learning
Scott says the university provided a perfect balance of music, challenging academics and preparation for a career as a professional musician. 
“I got more exposure to more things. It wasn’t just drums, drums, drums,” she says. “There was ensemble, two a semester, and all kinds of other things we were required to take for the music major.  And I learned things I never thought I would in the classroom. We had to make a website and business cards. I learned to be a professional. It’s super-useful.”
Especially if you’re on the rise in the music business.