Maria Hernandez
Maria Hernandez
September 29, 2019

Side-Talent Showcase: Jorian Hapeman

Jorian Hapeman / Photo by Maria Hernandez

Isn’t it interesting how we may have passions that are so different from what we choose to study? There are approximately 11,000 students at the University of New Brunswick and it is fantastic how many side talents or passions students have aside from their academic studies. You might be surprised to find out some of the different talents your classmates possess. In this series we take a look some of the many examples of students with interesting or surprising passions and talents, as well as the stories behind them.

Photo by Maria Hernandez

Third-year biochemistry student Jorian Hapeman is a man of diverse interests. 

Hapeman was born and raised in “Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, Earth,” as he puts it. He decided to go into the biochemistry program because of a love for Biology and Chemistry. Merging the two subjects seemed like a natural choice, one that led him to the science faculty. 

Apart from science, Hapeman is also passionate about music. It all started when he was only five years old. His mother put him into piano lessons, although he didn’t like it at the time.

However, his passion for music grew later in his life. “When I was in high school, I started playing the music I enjoyed, and from there it kind of opened up this aspect of music I had never explored before,” Hapeman said.

He also started enjoying music more when he first had the chance to play in a group. 

“Playing in the church band and learning how to sit down with other musicians rather than just playing a solo piece was really what sparked my interest” said Hapeman.

He had decided to pursue music as a full-time career, but pursuing his passion so vigorously began to ruin it for him. 

After graduating from university he expects to stay in the science world but will always play music on the lateral. 

Hapeman’s response to his preferred instrument was that of a passionate musician. He said it is a little more complicated than just liking it; it depends on the circumstances. 

“In rock music, I really enjoy the drums. In smooth jazz music, I’m obsessed with the bass and saxophone. In most jazz, I really like the piano because it is really open, and you could play what you want.”

Hapeman has tried to compose music before, but he has never written any complete songs. However, he would absolutely produce an original in the future. 

“Before I leave this Earth, I would love to send an original song out into the cosmos”.

Music is very special to Hapeman. His involvement in it has resulted in a lot of positive things for his life. It has provided employment, the opportunity to see cool places and helped cultivate many friendships based on the shared love for music. When asked what music meant to him, his answer radiated with excitement. 

“The most fascinating part about music for me is the way it causes our bodies to respond. It’s almost as if a good song can lift you out of your circumstance for a moment and give you a fresh perspective on everything despite how much you are suffering. I often wonder why this happens, and I once heard a suggestion that people gravitate to music because it reflects how we experience life. Music is just patterns of sound, and as humans, that’s precisely how we simplify our sensory input—into patterns. So maybe it means so much to me because it’s a reminder of what it means to be human”.

Science, on the other hand, is also meaningful to him. “Studying science has been a challenging journey. It’s humbled me, taught me to think critically and revealed to me the importance of pursuing truth. Overall, it is an opportunity for me to dedicate my life to work that will bear fruit that helps people and adds value to their lives.”

Photo by Maria Hernandez

Hapeman will continue to pursue both science and music in his life, as that is a very important balance to him. He spoke so glowingly of music that it’d be hard to see him giving it up anytime soon.

“My favorite part of music is playing with a group of people; you don’t even have to know them, they don’t even have to speak the same language, but you can just sit down and play together.”

Know a student with a unique, interesting or surprising talent you'd like to see featured? Send suggestions to and they may appear in a future Side-Talent Showcase!

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