No Compare-ison

April 22, 2014

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By Sarah Sherman

ORLANDO, Fla. ( -- Amy Compare leads a double life.

The Burnett Honors College sophomore competes for the UCF rowing team's varsity eight boat. She also moonlights as a member of the Marching Knights.

As an accomplished musician, Compare has been playing music since the second grade, starting out first with the piano before joining her school's band in the fourth grade as a flutist. She has been playing music ever since.

"One of the reasons I came (to UCF) is because there is a marching band," Compare said.

The environmental studies major picked up the piccolo the summer before she arrived at UCF and tried out for part placement, but she had no idea what to expect as a member of a college band.

"The piccolo is not much different than the flute," Compare said. "They're louder, which is why we play them. It is easier to hear them in the stadium."

Her experience with the marching band has become an opportunity of a lifetime as she was able to travel to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in January. In addition to watching the football team win a BCS bowl game, she spent the days leading up to the game playing for boosters at pep rallies, and for animals and humans alike at the Phoenix Zoo.

The Fiesta Bowl experience, while memorable, is not at the top of the list of her favorite game-day moments. After each game at Bright House Networks Stadium, the marching band plays a performance and sings the alma mater with the most loyal of fans still left in the stands.

"That's my favorite part of game days," Compare said. "Just knowing that this is my family."

Along with her music background, though not quite as extensive, Compare has a history with team sports ranging from gymnastics to softball and volleyball. She is also an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys cross-country camping, hiking and backpacking trips with her family.

When she arrived at UCF, Compare intended to remain physically active and wanted to learn something new. On a whim, she signed up for the rowing team.

"I didn't like it at first," Compare said. "But I didn't want to quit. I really love it now. I can't imagine not doing it."

Compare said rowing pushes her to her limits. With the support of her 50-plus teammates, she likes taking on the challenge together.

"I've grown so much in terms of mental toughness and being able to push myself," Compare said. "I like that I can do that every day at practice."



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