Simply ‘phenomenal’ performances

WSC Wind Ensemble to perform at prestigious convention Friday


Photo by Taylor Clark

Before the Wind Ensemble performs at the NMEA, the WSC Orchestra perfromed on Sunday, Nov. 15 in Ramsey Theatre.

Lauren Deisley, Staff Writer

“We get to show all the music directors and students that the music program here is phenomenal,” Stephanie Westerhaus, music education major, said.


The Wayne State College Wind Ensemble will perform at the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) convention on Friday, November 20.


“It’s a great performing opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited,” Westerhaus said.


The concert will begin at 4 p.m. in Kimball Recital Hall on the UNL campus and is free and open to the public.


The NMEA convention is an educator’s convention with three days of workshops, concerts and exhibits for all music educators across the state of Nebraska.


This is also the time when the All-State Band, Orchestra, Choir and Jazz Band rehearse and perform.


“We’re going to perform for people who are all there for the same purpose: their love of music and the goal to keep it alive,” sophomore Anna Stineman said. “There won’t be another crowd so invested in our cause and appreciative of our performance.”


The WSC Wind Ensemble earned the opportunity through an audition and application process which involved submitting recordings of recent performances.


Those recordings were then sent to professional adjudicators to determine the ensembles to perform, according to Dr. David Bohnert, Director of Bands at Wayne State.


“This performance says a lot about our program,” Dr. Josh Calkin, low brass instructor, said. “We’ve been invited to perform at two professional conferences in two years.”


The repertoire for the concert represents a variety of musical styles, including a flashy combination of “Ode to Joy” and “Short Ride in a Fast Machine.”


The concert will also include a Latin trumpet solo featuring senior music education major Ben Bruflat.


Other pieces include a nearly twenty-minute work by Carl Orff titled “Carmina Burana,” as well as a piece with an electronic accompaniment called “Coil.”


“The music that Dr. Bohnert picks challenges us every semester,” Westerhaus said.


“This music this year is pretty iconic, and it’s fun and challenging in its own way.”


The Wind Ensemble will also perform a piece by Scott McAllister titled “Gone,” which will be dedicated to WSC alum Jed O’Leary.


Many friends and colleagues of O’Leary’s will be attending the conference.


The biggest obstacle for the ensemble this semester has been timing, trying to maintain high quality performances with both the Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble in a short amount of time.


Bohnert said that the last Marching Band performance was only 13 days prior to the NMEA performance, though there isn’t a separate rehearsal time for both groups.


“We’ll be performing in an unfamiliar space with only 20 minutes of prep time prior to the concert,” Calkin said.


The conditions of the concert on Friday were replicated by the ensemble at last night’s concert in Ramsey Theater.


With only a short amount of prep time, the ensemble opened the concert first.


“Getting the opportunity to play such a major work like Carmina Burana is very cool,” senior Molly Schroeder said.


“To be selected to perform at NMEA is a huge honor.”