UND trumpeter takes the national stage

As a young teenager, UND senior Christiena Taralson was certain she’d grow up to work in the medical field. She wanted to save lives and make people whole again.

“I really had my heart set on being a surgeon,” she said. “That always was my childhood dream.”

And she likely would have followed that path if she hadn’t first been stopped cold turkey one morning in the middle of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The high school junior from Fargo was playing trumpet and just had opened the parade as part of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.

“It was a magical moment. I was playing on Herald Square in New York City. The confetti cannons went off, and I just broke into tears,” Taralson said. “I couldn’t believe it. Seeing millions of people staring at you. Cameras all over and knowing there were 3 million people watching from home. That’s where I decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I was going to be a trumpet performer.”

It was a big dream, but a dream that’s grown closer to reality at UND. Read Taralson’s full story and the stories of other UND leaders in action.