The Wind Symphony Performs their Annual Student Conductor Concert

By Ainsley Green, Staff Writer

On Monday, April 29, the Gettysburg College Wind Symphony performed their last concert of the spring semester at 5 p.m. in the Majestic Theater. Student conductors join this performance as it is the final concert of the academic year, and this is a unique opportunity for students in Sunderman Conservatory conducting classes to showcase what they have learned.

The concert began with “Motivations” by Anne McGinty, an exciting opener which was conducted by Jacob Hunkins ’24, a music and history double major and principal trumpet player in the Wind Symphony. Following this exciting piece, Director of Bands Russell McCutcheon gave an introduction as to what the concert was going to be about. 

“All of these students are enrolled in or have completed Conducting I… We’ve thrown them right into the deep end with the ensemble practice,” McCutcheon said, explaining there were only three rehearsals for the conductors and the musicians leading up to the concert. Each conductor only had about 45 minutes to rehearse their piece with the full ensemble, demonstrating their abilities to adapt to any performance situation.

Next, “Kentucky 1800” by Clare Grundman was conducted by music education major Alexis Gonzales ’26, who plays the string bass in Wind Symphony. The piece, based on three American folk songs, had a variety of themes heard from beginning to end. The third piece in the program was “Moorside March” from “A Moorside Suite” by Gustav Holst, which was conducted by music major and principal flutist of the ensemble Jack Kane ’24. The piece was lively and upbeat, with Kane helping the ensemble to keep a march tempo throughout. 

The next piece of the concert was the famous movement of Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” “Nimrod.” This piece was conducted by physics and music double major Christian Teufel ’27. The beautiful, expressive melody required a lot of communication between the conductor and the musicians. Music performance major JJ Jordan ’24 conducted “American Riversongs” by Pierre La Plante. This piece had a variety of different tempos and moods, all returning to the primary theme, and Jordan led the ensemble through all of the distinct sections. 

The final piece of the program, “Backlash” by Katahj Copley, was conducted by music education major Michael Tropp ’25, the principal trombonist of the Wind Symphony. This piece was full of harsh dissonances and exciting rhythms, making it a great piece to close the concert with.

The wide variety of music styles in this short concert, as well as the six different student conductors from all class years, demonstrated the versatility of opportunities to make music at Gettysburg College.

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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