Unconventional students at Rice: The mathematician musician

Lucas Sanchez is the perfect example of an “unconventional” Rice student. The Baker College senior and Albuquerque, N.M., native is graduating in May with not one, not two, but three degrees – and one of them is a master’s degree (in percussion performance)!

Sanchez said his two undergraduate degree majors – mathematics and music (percussion performance) – are more similar than one might expect. And he said it’s nice to have them as a break from one another.

“A lot of music is actually math,” Sanchez said. “Fractions, pitch levels, etc., derive from mathematics. And the processes that I take to attack a problem set are the same processes that I take to attack a new piece of music. My fascination for both the beauty of math and music has kept me going in both fields.”

Sanchez said performing with the Shepherd School orchestra is something he looks forward to every week. “From playing solo recitals, to teaching elementary school students how the marimba works, to playing outside the Skyspace, I’ve been able to be a part of a plethora of experiences (at the Shepherd School),” he said.

After graduation, Sanchez is planning to pursue an Artist Diploma in Music or Doctor of Musical Arts. His goal is to win an orchestral spot and eventually teach.

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!