SOMERS — Despite the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic, students in the Wind Ensemble at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Music Department have been given the opportunity to hear from a variety of world-class guest speakers during the fall 2020 semester.
“Although COVID has drastically changed how we can make music together, I’m happy to have been able to set up some very satisfying virtual units for the musicians in the Wind Ensemble this semester,” said Laura Rexroth, associate professor. “We are able to have discussions about topics that are wonderful additions to our usual rehearsals including composers of color, dealing with performance anxiety, preparing for an audition and women composers/conductors.”
In normal circumstances, the University Wind Ensemble performs two to three concerts a semester and rehearses twice a week. However, because of current guidelines, community activities on campus have been cancelled until further notice.
“We are in the midst of speaking live with several world-class artists as well,” Rexroth said. “Our students have been able to probe into the careers of these exciting professional musicians — asking them questions about how they got to where they are, and gaining insights into the teaching, conducting, performing, and conducting of music on a very high level. They are discovering that everyone’s path is different. All our speakers so far have urged my students to be resilient and follow their passion.”
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