When Argentinian Zoe Moff got her first guitar at age 6—which she still plays—she already knew she wanted to pursue a music career. And by age 12, she was certain she wanted to come to the United States to learn how to pursue it.
After her first taste of the U.S. at a Berklee College of Music summer program in Boston, Moff applied to seven U.S. college music programs. CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media (CAM) rose to the top of her list because of its urban location and its distinctive fusion of music performance, technical, and business programs (it’s no wonder that CAM is one of Billboard Magazine’s Top Music Business Schools).
“When I saw the Music Business degree here, I was like, ‘Wow, what’s that? That’s cool,’” said Moff, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Recording Arts and Music Business from CU Denver on May 13 at Spring Commencement. “But what sold me on CU Denver was the fact that it was downtown, that it was in the city. Because I crave the city, I need that, especially for my career as a musician. I need to see the venues. I need the people.”
Since the moment she got to Denver in 2019, she’s immersed herself in this city’s music scene. She plays in bands as a bassist (watch samples on her website). She works as a sound engineer at Denver’s renowned Dazzle jazz club, just blocks from the Auraria Campus. And she’s managed, mastered, and mixed music by some of the city’s “crazy-talented musicians.” She’s even been featured by KUVO Jazz Radio. All while forging connections with CAM student peers and faculty, who themselves are integral to the region’s music scene.
Moff said that CU Denver faculty members helped guide her educational experience, including Music and Entertainment Studies Instructor Andrew Morell, who helped her grow her jazz bass-playing skills, and Recording Arts Associate Professor Sam McGuire, who provided mentorship on a song Moff had developed.
Meanwhile, Moff was also jazzed by her Auraria Campus experience. She said that her apartment in the award-winning Lynx Crossing dorm helped her develop a social circle 6,000 miles from home. She worked as a Global Ambassador in the Office of International Affairs for three years and played a key role in the office’s event planning, marketing, international student engagement, and connectivity with domestic students. “Shoutout to Taylor Craver, Jennie Szumski, and my coworkers through the years for the support and constant inspiration in the workspace,” she said.
And she developed an enthusiasm for climbing at the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center’s climbing wall. “I love this campus—it’s gorgeous,” she said. “Every single spot on campus is calling you to go get a coffee, sit for a while, do your homework. I really enjoy going to the library, when the weather is nice, just sitting outside, chatting with friends, getting lunch.”
Moff said her CAM degree has prepared her for the next step in her music career. She’ll continue her heavy slate of on-stage and off-stage professional music activities in Denver after graduation. But she is also setting her sights on being a full-time bassist and eyeing opportunities in Nashville, Los Angeles, or New York that can lead to widespread touring and exposure.
One big takeaway from Moff’s musical education—something she wishes every music fan knew—is that in most musical activities, many people are involved, in many different ways. “Behind the song you’re listening to on Spotify, you have the producer, session musicians, lyricist, mixing and mastering engineers, businesspeople, visual media teams, and so on,” she said. “I think it’s important to credit these people, because music is a collaborative thing.”