Tech music program offers artistic outlet

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The rigor of classes, meetings, work and all other duties a student must endure may bring stress, but those who are musically inclined may find their niche in Tech’s music program, which offers numerous opportunities for students to thrive in the arts.

Students have a multitude of choices to pick from: Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion and MIDI Ensemble, as well as the various Chorale options and chamber ensembles.

“The music program [at Tech] allows students to escape from the grind of classes and de-stress,” said Andrea Brown, director of Orchestra and assistant director of Marching Band.

With approximately 80 to 90 members, the Orchestra immerses participants to musical masterpieces ranging from the classical to contemporary periods. Preregistration for the class and an audition is required for Orchestra, but more details can be found on the music department’s website.

“Another benefit is the social interaction you get by being involved. It’s like the ultimate group project and I believe there is a strong correlation between musical ability and academic success so it also helps boost retention rates,” Brown said.

Symphonic Band, consisting of woodwinds, brass and percussion, is an additional outlet for musical performance available to students. Auditions are every semester on the first Tuesday of classes and past experience is necessary as it is for all instrumental bands and ensembles.

“We just don’t have the time or opportunity to teach beginners. We work quickly, so newbies would end up being overwhelmed,” said Benjamin Diden, director of Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

Although the audition requirement may discourage some interested participants, Diden encourages students to support the arts regardless. “Students can still be a patron of the arts even if not participating. An audience is essential to any concert or performance. It adds to the experience,” Diden said.

The next concert will be held on Dec. 1, in the Ferst Center at 7:30 p.m., featuring almost all the ensembles as well as the choirs.

For those who are not instrumentally inclined but want to express themselves in song, Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Glee Club are open to all. That’s right, no audition is required.

“I think [Chorale] is right for students who like music but may have neglected it since coming to Tech. I feel like students get worn down with only left-brain activities so they should get more involved with the arts. Also, the class is an easy A for those who need humanities credit,” said Melaena Roberts, Chorale member and a second-year CS major.

Chorale meets twice a week and typically has one concert per semester. Even further still, the Electronic Percussion/MIDI Ensemble presents percussion performance through electronic devices to produce a modern outlet of musical creativity. Along with the combination of visual lighting and effects, students have the ability to paint their musical canvas however they want. Auditions are also required for this ensemble.

Visit the School of Music for more information on how to get involved.