Wind ensemble led by students

Lauren Ganger, Staff writer

On Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University’s Wind Ensemble will present a concert fully programmed, rehearsed and conducted by Music Education majors.
The student conductors will be sophomore Lauren Tucci, juniors Cameron Porter, Kayla Bravchok, Jake Bechter and Lacey Tologo, and senior Mariana Mathewson.
The idea to offer the opportunity to these students came to Scott Meier, Ph.D., when he was brainstorming ways to make up for the one performance that had been lost per year with the switch from trimesters to semesters.
Meier said that having only one performance per trimester worked well, but that once the university switched to the semester system it became necessary for the Music Department ensembles to offer more than one performance per semester.
The choice to offer this additional performance’s creative direction to Music Education majors will give them hands-on experience, preparing them for their future jobs as teachers, where the ability to direct an ensemble will be essential.
With only four weeks of rehearsal time to prepare, the Music Education majors, all volunteers from the sophomore, junior and senior classes, have had to work diligently to bring this concert together.
Pieces with names such as “Australian Up-Country Tune” by Percy Grainger, “Yorkshire Ballad” by James Barnes and “Newcastle March” by Frank Ticheli suggest a certain worldliness to the program, but Meier says that there was no set theme to the program and that the students simply chose beautiful music.
Meier describes the seven pieces on the program as “beautiful and tuneful.”
This opportunity is ideal for Music Education majors, who have gained experience programing, rehearsing and conducting music that is at an appropriate level for their future students.
The pieces that they chose are intentionally aimed at high school and advanced middle school-aged musicians, meaning that when these Music Education students begin teaching they will already have some pieces in their arsenal.
Tickets to this performance are $5 for the general public and $2 for Mercyhurst students, faculty and children aged 12 and under.