WSC junior leads Sioux City symphony

Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

Kaylee Moe, a junior, music education major at Wayne State College, conducted the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra while they played “A Crazy Thing Called Love.”

“It was crazy, it was cool, it was fun and it was really exciting,” Moe said. “It was different than any other conducting that I’ve ever done because it was a rock concert.”

Windborne Music, a cover band, performed with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra Feb. 18. The night focused on the British classic rock band Queen and their hits throughout the decades.

Windborne Music is comprised of conductor and arranger Brent Havens, vocalist and guitarist Brody Dolyniuk, Dan Clemens on the bass and background vocals, drums and background vocals by Powell Randolph, George Cintron on guitar and background vocals and Justin Avery on the keyboards and background vocals.

Conductors are responsible for starting the ensemble, to establish a clear, uniform tempo and continue it throughout the performance. A conductor is also responsible for helping upkeep the musical quality of the piece.

“They’re showing the ensemble how loud they should be, how soft, if it should be flowy or if it should be attacking and march like,” Moe said.

Moe said she won the Sioux City Symphony’s contest after commenting on their Facebook post and explaining why she wanted to conduct the symphony. Her name was drawn from a hat on Sioux City’s Classic Rock 99.5 and she said it was a “dream come true.”

Moe had a crash course with the Sioux City Symphony’s lead conductor Ryan Haskins before the show and mastered a straight four tempo. Moe said once she got the symphony started, all she did was keep the tempo throughout the song and everything went smoothly. She said she could not believe she was conducting an entire symphony and band to an enormous live audience.

“It blew my mind as soon as I was on stage, I couldn’t believe that I was there,” Moe said.

She is active in various activities on campus including wind ensemble, concert choir, jazz band, percussion ensemble, pep band, and in the fall, she participates in marching band. Moe is also a part of the National Association for Music Educators and Kappa Kapp Psi. KKΨ is a national honorary fraternity that provides services to the WSC band program.

Moe said she was first interested in perusing a degree in music education and a career as a conductor after watching her high school band conductor one day in class.

Her junior year in high school Moe said she realized she wanted to be able to show people what music is like and what it can do for them. “I was in band one day, I was just watching my director and thought that’s something I want to do,” Moe said.

As a music education major Moe is required to conduct for her major.

“Getting to hear the ensemble, getting to help show them what the music should be so that the audience can really get a sense of what the piece means,” Moe said. “Every piece kind of has its own feelings and emotions it’s supposed to elicit from you and just getting to help encourage and draw that out is really cool.”

“I’ve taken three [conducting] classes, the first one was with Dr. Matthew Armstrong and then I took one with Dr. David Bohnert,” Moe said.

Armstrong is the director of choral activities at WSC and Bohnert is currently the chair of the Department of Music and director of bands. He teaches conducting, music education and serves as director for the WSC Wind Ensemble and Marching Band.