A welcoming chorus

by Hanna Russmann/Staff Writer

Simpson College’s Department of Music will host its annual spring music weekend this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27.

Spring music weekend is a recruiting tool used by the music department to get prospective music students on campus. While the students are on campus, they interact with current students and faculty and learn what Simpson’s music department is all about.

Raelene Best, assistant professor in music, organized this year’s music weekend and said that quite a few prospective students will be attending this year.

“On the 26 and 27 I believe we have about 25 students coming in that weekend,” Best said.

Best said that a good number of students who participate in the spring and fall music weekends enroll at Simpson.

“I know that a lot of students who come to music weekend end up enrolling at Simpson,” Best said. “If I had to guess, I would say probably 80 percent. It’s a pretty high number.”

Best also mentioned how the music weekend serves as a first look for prospective Simpson students.

“The kids that come to the music weekend generally find it pretty exciting,” Best said. “For a lot of them it’s their first day to feel like a Simpson student.”

Sophomore Vanessa Leonard attended the spring music weekend her senior year of high school and will participate this year by singing with the chamber choir. Leonard said that the music weekend had an impact on her decision to come to Simpson.

“Participating in the music weekend is definitely helpful in making that final decision of which school to attend,” Leonard said. “By sitting in on classes, meeting the professors and listening to various ensembles, students get a feel for what the Simpson Music Department is all about.”

Freshman Sam Carroll will also be participating in this year’s music weekend through singing with the chamber choir and the madrigal singers.

Carroll said that the music weekend plays an important role in students’ decisions to come to Simpson.

“Music weekend is a very important weekend for students who choose to attend Simpson,” Carroll said. “It is often their first glimpse at what the life of a Simpson music major is like. It is also a great time to experience the Simpson College faculty and evaluate the music program as a whole.”

Sophomore Jill Irvin will sing with Mu Phi Epsilon during the weekend and recalled her favorite part of music weekend when she attended it back in Feb. 2008.

“My favorite part was the professors’ recital as well as sitting in on different classes,” Irvin said.

The music weekend played a big part in Irvin’s decision to come to Simpson and believes that she couldn’t have gotten a better education anywhere else.

“The music weekend did help me decide to come here, because I found out that the music education program is very good,” Irvin said. “I don’t think I could have gotten a better education in the other schools I was looking at.”