Photo courtesy of Laura Burtwistle/WSC Music Department
It’s been almost 20 years since the Wayne State College Wind Ensemble was last invited to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmaster’s Association (NSBA) convention. That will be changed by tomorrow evening.
“We’ve worked harder than ever before,” Dave Bohnert, Director of Bands, said. “We’ve reached a level we haven’t hit before.”
The concert will feature all levels of bands, from middle school to college bands. In order to get into NSBA, band directors must send in a CD of recorded songs from their band as well as a general biography. 25 bands sent in CDs this year, and WSC was one of the few chosen to perform in Lincoln tomorrow.
Around 400 band directors from all over Nebraska will be in attendance. The Wind Ensemble will be performing six pieces from various levels of difficulty for other band directors and students to listen to.
One advantage for band directors at NSBA is that they can get ideas to take back to their own bands. If they enjoy a piece they hear, they may use it for their school. An advantage for Wayne State is that the music department will become more well-known across Nebraska.
“It shows just how good we are,” Katie Knox, transfer student and trumpet player, said. “We’re bigger than just Wayne.”
Senior trombone player, Alec Nielson, explained why the WSC music department is unique from other colleges. Music majors and non-music majors can blend well. Many music departments are composed mainly of majors, according to Nielson. So Wayne is different in that the music department is so broadly composed here at Wayne.
“The program will be different than what we are used to,” Josh Calkin, low brass instructor, said. “There are 45 minutes of music to fill and we’re not used to that.”
NSBA will be instrumental in recruiting for WSC, according to Calkin. Students from all over Nebraska will see that the music department is up and coming in the state. The quality and quantity of the music department improves every year, Calkin explained.
“We’re more polished and musical and it’s going to be fun,” Bohnert said. “We aren’t going to be playing it ‘safe’ this time; we’re taking it to a whole new level and bringing it all to life.”