Band director performs trombone faculty recital

Band director Norman Wika plays the trombone for his faculty recital on Tuesday. He is accompanied by Amanda Stamper on piano. Vanguard Photo | Karlee Gourd

Solo performances require a lot of endurance training, says band director Norman Wika.

“It takes work to build up the strength and endurance to get through the program,” he said. “This was a particularly tiring program, so I had to put a lot of work into getting myself physically and mentally ready to perform.”

Wika performed a trombone recital on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. He talked about the practice that went into his performance.

“It takes one to three hours of practice each day, plus rehearsals with the accompanist,” he said.

Wika played four complete pieces while accompanied by pianist Amanda Stamper.

He opened with “Cortege” by Pierre Max Dubios.

Other pieces included “Sonata for Trombone and Piano” by Eric Ewazen, “Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen” by Gustav Mahler, “Mystic with a Credit Card” by Michael Colgrass and “Sonata in F minor, TWZ 41:1” by Georg Philipp Telemann.

Ewazen’s piece contained multiple movements, as did Mahler’s and Telemann’s.

Wika said it took a lot of mental and physical preparation as well as a great deal of focus to give such a performance.

“The most challenging aspect of preparing a recital is finding the time to do everything that is required,” he said. “When I am practicing for a recital, my days … become 21 hours long.… I have to find a balance in accomplishing everything else that needs to be done.”

Wika said he believes musicianship is a “life-long journey.” He does it not only for himself, but for his students.

“I want to expose (my students) to new and different repertoires and new ways of thinking about music,” he said. “I also want them to see that, as their teacher, I haven’t finished my own development, but rather, I am continuing to work on my own musicianship and overcoming the same problems that they are working on.”

Cailyn Briggs, a music sophomore, attended the concert. She plays the trumpet in the marching band, so she has become familiar with Wika as a music director.

“I’ve known Wika for two years now,” she said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to see him play, so I found it interesting to see what he’s like on stage and not as a director.”

Briggs’ favorite part of the performance was when Wika performed a song called “Mystic with a Credit Card.”

She said she believes the music department is like a big family and encourages people to look into what music has to offer.

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