College Madison Area
Orchestra to perform free series
join to share love of music
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(November 2011) For more than 25 years members
of the Hanover College music program and area residents have been combining
their talents to create not only live music but also a sense of community
and belonging among local musicians. Each week about 15 Hanover College
students and 15 community members meet to perfect their sound for upcoming
performances, and just as importantly, enjoy the thrill of making music
with other dedicated performers.
In the words of director Dr. David Mruzek, the Hanover College Madison
Area Orchestra Strengthens the bond between the campus and the
While auditions are held for the orchestra, Mruzek is quick to highlight
the fact the main focus is on participation. Though some
members have been performing with the group since its inception, others
are students in junior high school who are still perfecting their talents.
And while Hanover College students earn credit for playing
in the group, many are not music majors. A common love and dedication
to music brings together players who might not otherwise have the chance
They enjoy getting to know each other, reflects Mruzek,
I think they relate well to each other.
The 2011-2012 Hanover College Madison Area Orchestra concert series
begins Nov. 19 with a performance at 7:30 p.m.. The program is presented
in the Lynn Center for Fine Arts at Hanover College with free admission.
The November concert will include music ranging from Mozarts famed
Abduction from the Seraglio to the beloved Irish folk classic
Danny Boy. The audience will also enjoy Concerto for
Flute and Small Orchestra by Luigi Boccherini featuring a flute
solo by Hanover College Junior Kimberley Fong. Additional performances
will take place in February and in April the group will be joined by
popular pianist Dr. Kimm Hollis, who will present what is certain to
be a memorable rendition of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21.
Mruzek invites area residents to come out and enjoy and evening of music
and notes that this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the talents
of your neighbors. The director says with a smile, there are a
lot of community people in the groupyoure bound to know
Mruzek explains that in selecting the music for the concerts he looks
to have variety in the works presented. He also seeks to strike
a balance between educating the audience and entertaining them.
Research for upcoming performances begins in the Hanover College Music
Department library. The first thing I do is go through the printed
music on hand, he explains.
He also spends time listening to audio recording of prospective pieces
and he reports that some of his research is conducted online. He seeks
out a variety of audio clips gets an idea of the difficulty level of
the different works. This careful process allows the professor to find
pieces that will provide an interesting evening of music for the audience
and best match the strengths of the current years crop of musicians.
Rob Houze, owner of Crawdaddy Music in Madison, is one performer who
has been with the orchestra since the very beginning. He believes that
the community is very fortunate to have such a group and points out
that otherwise music lovers would have to travel to Louisville or Columbus
to play or enjoy similar performances.
The bass player says that, Its a nice thing to have. Its
an opportunity to play the classics. Houze explains that by encouraging
musicians from the college and the community to come together, the HCMA
orchestra is able to pull from a larger selection of players. This wider
pool makes it possible to bring together a more diverse group of talent
as sometimes the college may not totally fill out the sections,
Not only does the orchestra draw performers from the area community,
but the group also looks to area residents for support offstage. The
Orchestra Guild formed last May and provides essential backstage help
ranging from designing and distributing programs to organizing light
refreshments after the concerts.
In addition to ongoing assistance given by these dedicated volunteers,
the orchestra also benefits from the communitys donations of instruments
to the music program. Many people have instruments that have been out
of the spotlight for several years, and the Hanover College music program
has students eager to make them sing again.
As an educator, Mruzek said he is proud of the way the orchestra allows
students a chance to improve their abilities and explore both traditional
and recent orchestral compositions. He also sees the hours that the
players spend together during practice and performance as a way for
new Hanover students to make a connection to their college and community.
The orchestra gives the students a feeling of home, Mruzek
For information on getting involved with
the Hanover College Madison Area Orchestra, contact Dr. David Mruzek
at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.hanover.edu/learning/academic/music/instrumental.php.
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