Award-winning wind group visits Lee and shows students a new take on classical music
Award-winning wind quintet WindSync have left their mark in the classical world, and now, they have done the same on Lee's campus.
As a part of the next session of the music department's String Theory, founded by piano professor Dr. Gloria Chien, a partnership with Hunter Museum and Lee welcomes WindSync to the Cleveland and Chattanooga area. The Houston-based group brought their unique take on classical music, often focusing on dramatic interpretations of time-honored pieces, with them to Lee.
WindSync spent several days in the area, leading various activities both on and off campus. On Friday, WindSync spent the day getting to know music professors and teaching a masterclass here at Lee.
WindSync’s bassoonist Kara LaMoure said masterclasses are a good chance for students to hear from someone who is not their usual or private teacher.
“It might drive home some of the same points their teachers told them or introduce them to other ideas they haven’t thought about before," said LaMoure. "It’s really nice for us to give back since we were all students once too and are very familiar with that struggle."
Sophomore music and worship major Mateo Copado said he agrees that learning other schools of thought in masterclasses are extremely beneficial to musicians of all backgrounds.
“I know that not every School of Music has the same type of thought when it comes to theory, so they may know something that works better than what they teach here,” Copado said.
While the basics of theory are important, LaMoure said she hopes to teach music students more than just the typical techniques.
“Each of us has different background in music so we bring something different to the table. The five of us have five different points of view," LaMoure said. "I like to hope that we are bringing a diversity of experiences to show students that they can have their own point of view and hopefully give them the tools to best communicate their point of view."
Echoing LaMoure's sentiments, senior music and worship major Lauren Morrison said masterclasses help students learn to portray their message more clearly.
“I think you draw from the teachers’ experiences and pull from their mistakes so you don’t make the same ones," Morrison said. "Masterclasses are very important in preparing us for what we are going to do."
The masterclass was not the only stop for the quintet. WindSync’s stay in Cleveland and Chattanooga consisted of performances for elementary school students and a family concert at Hunter Museum, in addition to a recital of their own last Tuesday.
“We are doing a few different kinds of activities that will show a diversity of what it’s like to work in the music industry now," LaMoure said. "Something that is less traditional and isn’t necessarily just an orchestral job, which is what a lot of music students are most familiar with, which maybe doesn’t completely reflect what we are doing our whole lives as musicians."
Operations Director for String Theory at the Hunter Museum Hannah Sweet said that WindSync is here as part of an education outreach residency.
“The whole point of the education outreach initiative is to bring classical music to groups of people that normally don’t get to hear it," Sweet said. "Like elementary schools specifically those that are title one-low income, underserved communities."
According to LaMoure, the education outreach suits the five musicians and their specific goals well, as they are particularly interested in reaching children, families and audiences that may not have access to classical music performances.
“I think that we would all say we are really fortunate to do something that is more well-rounded. We are performers, but we are also working towards social goals that are important to us, like reaching children at Title One schools,” LaMoure said. “We also hope to help out any music students who might have questions about their careers and futures and help the next generation be even more resilient, better and more relevant musicians.”