The melodious journey of an international scholar

MINOT, N.D. – Musicians are individuals whose talent transcends boundaries and captivates hearts.

Samuel Oluwatomisin Aina, an exceptional international student whose mastery of music led him to Minot State University, is one of them.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Aina discovered his passion for music early on. Gifted with agile fingers and an ability to create enchanting melodies, he embarked on a path leading him to Minot State University to pursue his musical education.

"While studying music in Nigeria, I wanted to come to America to pursue my musical education," he said. "While looking for affordable schools, I found Minot State University. I checked out the music department and loved it.”

As a pianist, Aina demonstrates mastery over the keys. His performances transport listeners, evoking many emotions through his interpretation and musicality. Whether it is the poignant melodies of classical compositions or the soul-stirring rhythms of the gospel, he embraces many genres with fervor, leaving his audiences spellbound.

"I am familiar with most genres. However, my favorites are classical music and gospel," he said.

What sets Aina apart is his musical prowess and unique dedication as a groundskeeper during the summer months.

Instead of confining himself solely to music, he humbly puts his hands to work on the earth, maintaining the grounds that nurture his artistry. With a tireless commitment to preserving the beauty of nature, he finds solace and inspiration in his two roles.

"My hands are my most precious tools, so I wanted to keep them useful,” said Aina. “Making our campus beautiful was the only logical choice when I decided to stay around for the summer.”

Integrating his musical and groundskeeping pursuits creates a harmonious balance in Aina's life. The meticulousness required in tending to the gardens and landscapes mirrors the discipline needed to master complex musical compositions. This fusion of artistry and diligence shapes his character and enriches his musical journey.

Being an international student can be stressful. Adapting to a new culture and educational system demands resilience and determination. However, Aina perseveres, embracing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth.

"I thought I would struggle initially to adapt to the culture when I moved here. However, everything went as smoothly as possible. The university community is wonderful, and everyone made me feel right at home," he said.

Aina's international background influences his musical style, infusing it with his homeland's diverse traditions and rhythms. He believes in the unifying power of music, transcending borders, and fostering connections among cultures. Through his performances, he aims to bridge the gaps and spread the message of harmony and understanding.

Aina envisions a future where his music resonates with audiences worldwide. He aspires to compose original pieces and teach the next generation of musicians, so he tries to emulate the best.

"I am always willing to check out any kind of composers, but the two that I listen to the most are Frederic Chopin and Mozart," said Aina.

Aina's story is one of passion, resilience, and the harmonious interplay between his musical gift and his grounding role as a groundskeeper. As he continues to create breathtaking melodies and tend to the earth with care, his journey inspires aspiring musicians worldwide, reminding them that dreams can be transformed into reality with dedication and hard work.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 09/22/23   

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