The music department hosted Brass Day, a day for community members and students to participate in and enjoy performances from brass bands, on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“This is the kind of thing that the music department needs to do as outreach to the greater musical community,” said Norman Wika, the band director and music professor. “Holding an event like this allows them to come in and to work with players and get the opportunity to learn new things on their instrument.”
Nineteen students and community members registered to play at the event.
One member from the first ever marching band at SVSU attended the event as an opportunity to interact with other musicians from the area.
“I just moved back to the area, and a big
part of me being here is to network,” said Dave Crook, a local musician.
Other attendees included high schoolers. The event is a good opportunity for students who may potentially pursue further education at SVSU. The Brass Day events allow them to receive instruction from music professors and meet current students.
Community members and students registered to be a part of master classes also receive feedback on their playing.
“A master class is where you have someone who’s an expert on that instrument. In this case, for the morning master classes, the experts are SVSU brass faculty,” Wika said. “Students will come up and play, and then get feedback on their playing. It’s all done in an open session.”
Community members participated not only in master classes but also played in the performance by the Mid-Michigan Brass Band.
“I studied music early in my life and then took 40 years off because life happens,” said Mark Abbe, a member of the MidMichigan Brass Band. “I picked it back up after I retired about four years ago, and so I’ve been relearning the horn and getting opportunities to play.”
The Mid-Michigan Brass Band performed at 11 a.m. following the morning master classes.
Their performance was followed by another set of master classes and a late-afternoon performance by the Quintasonic Brass Quintet, a traveling brass band.
SVSU students continued to play in master classes with the professional quintet throughout the afternoon.
Community members were welcome to sit in on those classes as well.
The music department hopes to continue hosting Brass Day yearly in order to reach out to the community and provide a space for local musicians to interact with students.
Reported by Melissa Vennix, Vanguard Reporter