Music Weekend to hit campus Friday, Saturday

Music Weekend to hit campus Friday, Saturday

by J.T. JordanStaff Writer

The Simpson College Music Department is hosting its annual spring Music Weekend Feb. 23-24. The event focus is to introduce prospective music students to Simpson’s student life by providing them with interaction among music majors on campus. The music weekend also offers prospective students a chance to audition for a music scholarship.

Music Weekend has been a contributing part to the success of attracting many talented music students to Simpson. It’s because of this that Music Weekend has become a lasting staple for the music department since 1975.

“The Music Weekend happens each semester as part of the department’s new student recruiting plan,” said Maria DiPalma, professor of music and chair of the department. “It is an event which has been taking place for over 40 years.”

Music Weekend allows parents and prospective students to observe the routines of music majors in person. One of the weekend’s activities will allow potential students to sit in on three class sessions.

“They will actually attend two regular classes-music history and music theory-with our students,” said Raelene Best, administrative assistant and assistant professor of music. “The third one is a music education class that has been made special for these prospective students.”

The event also allows students to view more than just the academic side of being involved in the Music Department. The prospective students will have the chance to witness live performances and ensemble rehearsals by Simpson students and faculty members.

“There are two concerts which feature Simpson ensembles. Friday morning at 11 in Smith Chapel, the Simpson College Choir, Women’s Chorale, Early Music Ensemble and some smaller instrumental ensembles will perform a concert,” DiPalma said. “Friday evening in Lekberg Hall, the Jazz Ensemble, Madrigal Singers and various faculty members will perform. Both concerts are open to the public.”

Music Weekend also offers a unique opportunity to prospective students by having them audition for a talent-based musical scholarship. During these auditions, students are asked to play or sing two to three songs for the faculty. Their performance is then evaluated and followed by an interview with a faculty member in order to get to know them.

“It is always an exciting time to meet new students and hear new auditions,” Professor of Music Robert Larsen said.

Currently 38 students have registered for Music Weekend. Typically, only high school seniors attend this event. However, there will be a few juniors in attendance this year.

For many students, attending the event will help them decide if Simpson is right for them.

“When choosing a college, you want to know if you are going to fit in, so we have provided them a chance to interact with students in our department,” Best said. “They also get a chance to meet several members of the faculty in a casual setting.”