First time conductors take the stage on Tuesday

Kadra Sommersted, Staff Writer

The Student Conductors Concert was performed Tuesday evening in the WSC Ramsey Theater.

“There are five people Conducting—five students, who are upper-class music majors,” said David Bohnert, director of bands in the Department of Music and the department chair. “They are leading an ensemble, the symphonic band.”

Bohnert said the symphonic band consists of 60 to 75 students. He also said many of the upperclassmen will be teaching soon, so this is an opportunity for them to experience it before then. They also get to learn how to put on the performance, which includes making the programs.

“The Student Conductors Concert only occurs once a year,” Bohnert said. “The symphonic band, the group that these students are conducting, play about four times a year. Twice a semester.”

Bohnert said the other three performances a year are conducted by Josh Calkin.

“The students started rehearsing in September,” said Bohnert. “The conductors have three 10 minute rehearsals with them.”

Bohnert said there was a total of about 45 minutes on each piece. He said the performance started with “Down Town Dash,” the next piece was called “Cathedral Music,” then “Kentucky 1800,” followed by “Miniature Overture” and finally “Equinox.”

“I’ve chosen cathedral music, and it was arranged by Kevin Singleton,” said Jason Stech, student conductor. “More specifically, the movement I’m doing is ‘If You Love Me’ by Thomas Tallis.”

Stech said he chose this piece because it’s slower and thought that it would be nice to have in the program. He also said that it would add diversity for the concert.

“(My piece is) ‘Equinox,’” said Payton Schake, student conductor. “It’s kind of like an upbeat march.”

Schake chose his piece because he performed it in high school and it is the reason that loves music.

“We take turns running rehearsals,” said Stech.

He said the band has had the chosen pieces in front of them for about half an hour rehearsal time.

“(The band) really picked it up pretty fast,” said Schake.

He said that because it is a college and community band, there are a lot of good players who are able to sight read music well and it didn’t take them long to do that.

“It’s quite nerve-racking because it’s our first time in front of an audience conducting,” said Schake.