The fall section of the bi-annual Music Weekend at Simpson College will be held this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12-13.
High school seniors will be coming to campus to explore the Simpson Music Department as they sit in on music classes and performances, meet professors and music majors and audition for their own music scholarships.
“Music Weekend is an opportunity for high school students who are interested in Simpson College and in participating or majoring in music to find out more about Simpson College and the Department of Music,” Timothy McMillin, director of choral activities, said.
Students will be listening to performances from each of the four music groups at Simpson during their stay including the madrigal singers, Chamber Singers, College Choir and Women’s Chorale.
Senior Lauren Hartman, undergraduate assistant to the music department chair, is in charge of assisting the prospective students in during the weekend.
Hartman came to Fall Music Weekend when she was a senior in high school and is currently a music major and a member of both the Chamber Singers and the Madrigal Singers. She said that her visit helped to confirm that she wanted to follow music as a career and Music Weekend helped to show her that Simpson was where she wanted to pursue it.
“It was a wonderful experience, and it cemented my decision that Simpson was the place for me,” Hartman said. “Being able to see so many different aspects of life in this department was wonderful as well as meeting so many professors and students.”
Last year, the music department held auditions for 107 prospective students wanting music scholarships for a music major or a music activity, some of whom participated in the Fall and Spring Music Weekends. There are currently 14 students planning to attend the Fall Music Weekend.
Raelene Best, assistant professor of music, said that she likes the excitement of the Music Weekends.
“For the high school students it is almost like their first day of class-a little bit of the unknown and the general excitement they have in thinking about being a college student,” Best said.
Best said that she hopes this weekend will help prospective students develop contacts with faculty and students here at Simpson.
“I also hope it will give prospective students enough information about our department and the college to encourage their decision to enroll at Simpson next fall,” Best said.
Music Weekend is a tradition at the college that is looked forward to by both faculty and students in the music department. Music Weekend is normally a successful event as it is advertised across the nation by music teachers who have connections with Simpson and at area high schools.
“I think the very professional yet personalized aspects of Music Weekend are the reason it is so successful in attracting students,” Hartman said.
McMillin said that he hopes Music Weekend will accomplish what it always does:
“(To) represent Simpson College and the Department of Music in a fantastically positive way to people who want and need to know more about us,” McMillin said.