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Instrumentalists Chosen for Intercollegiate Concert Band

  • September 2013

Five members of the Marietta College Wind Ensemble were recently selected to perform in the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Intercollegiate Concert Band. The students chosen for this honor include Casey Mercer, alto saxophone (Wingett Run, OH), Greg Snyder, tenor saxophone (Coolville, OH), Jane Thomson, French horn (Marietta, OH), Julia Dreyer, oboe (Middleburg Heights, OH), and Bridget Dean, French horn, (Rochester, Minnesota).

The members of the band are chosen from colleges representing the states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These instrumentalists will rehearse and perform under the baton of Myron Welch, retired Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Iowa. Following three days of rehearsals, the Intercollegiate Concert Band will perform the final concert at the College Band Directors Nationals Association North Central Division Conference held on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois from February 25-28.

According to Marshall Kimball, Director of Bands and Instrumental Activities, "Marietta College has never been represented in this ensemble and the selection of these musicians gives serious recognition to the growth of the instrumental program and the quality of our students. Most of the colleges and universities represented in this ensemble are large schools but Marietta Colleges still has the second highest number of students selected for the ensemble with only the University of Wisconsin having more.”

“I think it will be a great experience to participate in ICB. We will get to meet fellow musicians from all over the division and expand on our experiences, skills, and musicianship” stated Bridget Dean. The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music congratulates all of the students selected for this honor.

Assistant Music Professor and Music Education students launch Music Ensemble Research Project

  • September 2013

Assistant Professor of Music Marshall C. Kimball and seven music education students recently launched a nationwide survey for a research project entitled “Attitude Toward Continued Music Ensemble Study K-12” at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 28, 2010. Students involved in this research project are Casey Mercer (Wingett Run, OH), Greg Snyder (Coolville, OH), Olivia Wilson (Mechanicsville, MD), Mary Rizzardi (Latrobe, PA), Nick Giebel (Pittsburgh, PA), Peter Krutschnitt (Brunswick, OH), and Jessica Taulbee (Reynoldsburg, OH).

The goal of this research survey is to compile reasons why individuals choose to begin instrumental and/or vocal ensemble study and then later decide to either discontinue study or continue with study, even beyond graduation for high school and/or college. “This has been an interest of mine in recent years as I have watched the declining numbers in various music ensembles in the public and private school sector. Directors of performing ensembles are faced with students dropping from ensembles every year and also realize that the reasons given are often not the true reason. Through this anonymous survey it is hoped that we can collect enough “honest” data to come up with some of the principal reasons for the dropout rate. Just as important in the survey are questions to acquire information on what has kept other individuals involved in music ensembles through high school, college and perhaps adult life. It is hoped that through this accumulation of a large sampling we can develop a list of reasons on both ends of the spectrum. Perhaps with this collection of responses, ensemble directors/music educators can look at the research data and then objectively examine their programs and re-evaluate where changes might be necessary and important,” commented Professor Kimball.

The initial release of the survey has created a wide spread interest in the topic and the desire for the results to be sent to some of the participants, especially music educators. The survey had over 1000 respondents ranging from California to New Hampshire in just the first two weeks of its release, with 250 requests for the final data. The survey was principally released through electronic media, including e-mail and Facebook.

When asked about why this is important to the music education majors Assistant Professor of Music, Marshall Kimball stated, “When our music education majors graduate, they will be faced with this problem in their own programs. Perhaps information gathered through this project will be helpful in minimizing this issue for them. All teachers make mistakes and must learn from them. It is my hope that our music education majors will learn from this data how to prevent the loss of students and in the process be able to positively affect more students with music.” Chairman of the Department, Dr. Daniel Monek, said that “the work done in this project by Professor Kimball and some of our Music Education students is an important representation of the emphasis our program places on leadership and advocacy in the profession. It gives our students first hand experience on collecting and analyzing research data as well as how to apply that data to their work in the profession.”

At the completion of the research project, the final goal is to present the research findings in a clinic and/or poster session at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati in January 2011 and to pursue other avenues and conferences for the release of the data.

Marietta Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble members chosen for OPCICA Honor Bands

  • September 2013

Nine Marietta College student members of the instrumental band program were recently selected be in honor bands for the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association (OPCICA) 23rd Annual Honor Band Festival Weekend held from January 23-24 at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mt. Vernon, OH.

Theodore Cunningham (Parkersburg, WV) who plays baritone saxophone was Marietta College's representative in the OPCICA Honor Jazz Ensemble. Performing with the OPCICA Honor Concert Band were Jane Thomson (Marietta, OH) on French horn, Casey Mercer (Wingett Run, OH) on alto saxophone, Julia Dreyer (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) on oboe, Nick Giebel (Allison Park, PA) on trumpet, Greg Snyder (Coolville, OH) on tenor saxophone, Paul Paslay (Utica, OH) on trombone, Darren Simmons (Marietta, OH) on trumpet and Peter Krutschnitt (Brunswick, OH) on percussion.

The Honor Concert Band and Honor Jazz Ensemble rehearsed on the campus of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University on Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24. Following the rehearsals the honors festival weekend concluded with a concert by both ensembles in the R. R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium at Mt. Vernon.

“OPCICA offers us a chance to immerse ourselves in our art,” says music education major Nick Geibel. “It creates an environment in which we can simply be musicians, giving us an opportunity to connect and create with our peer artists. I found the honor band to be a rewarding and creatively stimulating event, priceless in its capacity to motivate music students such as myself to pursue excellence in our field.”

Casey Mercer also went on to say that the festival “was a great chance for us to meet other students and rehearse with several directors, all with different conducting styles. As a future music educator I try to learn as much from all the people I meet at these kind of events."

Conductors for the honor jazz ensemble were Ben Hunton and Michael Yonchak from Otterbein College. Conductors for the honor concert band included: Nancy Ditmer, Director of Bands at the College of Wooster, Jeffrey Boehm, Director of Bands at Bluffton University, John Packard, Director of Bands at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, John Owen, Director of Bands at Heidelberg College and Marshall Kimball, Director of Bands at Marietta College.

Assistant Professor of Music Marshall Kimball recently completed a year as President-Elect of OPCICA and will serve a term as President of the organization from February 2010 to February 2011. According to Kimball, “OPCICA Honors Weekend is an outstanding opportunity for the chosen musicians who come from all size schools and all types of programs to put their skills into practice. It is also a wonderful opportunity for the band directors from each of the member institutions to come together to discuss issues that face private institutions of higher education. It's a great time to have open discussions and perhaps find joint solutions to the issues we face.”

The OPCICA, founded in 1987, held its first collegiate honor band festival on Jan. 24, 1988, at Capital University. Currently comprised of 24 member colleges and universities, the primary purpose of the organization is to develop a closer network of communication and resource sharing among the instrumental departments, divisions or conservatories of the various privately funded institutions of higher education within the state of Ohio. An additional purpose is to sponsor an annual honors festival featuring an Honors Concert Band and an Honors Jazz Ensemble comprised of instrumental students from the participating schools. These festivals have enriched the lives of hundreds of college instrumentalists as well as the conductors from many of the state's private institutions.

Students are nominated by their home college conductor and instrumentation is set by the festival committee in November. These students are together for two days and in three rehearsals their program is rehearsed and prepared for the concert. Guest conductors for the honors ensembles are chosen from the participating institutions, thereby giving students an eclectic experience with conductors of different style, background, and technique. Each guest conductor chooses the music that will be conducted with the honors ensembles. Conductors from the member institutions rotate in conducting the ensembles. There are usually two to three for the jazz festival and five to six conductors for the concert band. The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music congratulates all of these students on their nomination for and participation in the festival.