Dr. Andrew Schultz directs Musical Arts Day honor band. Photos by Whitney Pottschmidt
By Victoria Cameron
More than 150 high schoolers from 11 states visited Concordia for Musical Arts Day to form the High School Honor Band and High School Honor Choir.
Musical Arts Day is an annual way for Concordia to promote itself to high schoolers through its music department. The high schoolers stayed one night on campus, hosted by music students, and then came together to form the choir and band for the Nov. 8 concert.
“They had been sent the music so they had access to it and were able to practice it,” senior Jacob Mikkelson said. “I think they had it for a couple weeks so they could spend a couple weeks practicing and getting their part good before they came and practiced with the whole group.”
The band played three pieces and the choir sang a total of four songs, one of which was with the university A Cappella Choir. They were conducted by Director of Bands Andrew Schultz and Director of Choral Activities Kurt von Kampen, respectively. The conductors showcased the quality of music education Concordia offers so the high schoolers could have an accurate picture of Concordia in their college deliberations.
The two high school honor ensembles only practiced with their entire groups the day of the concert. Beginning at 9 a.m., they worked on their pieces together for the first time.
“I told them that today is about process,” von Kampen said. “We want to learn how to make great music and if anything turns out great at the concert it’s a bonus but we really need two more weeks to make this precision-filled.”
A Capella and the symphonic band both performed apart from the high schoolers at the Musical Arts Day Concert in order to give the high schoolers the opportunity to appreciate Concordia’s musical proficiency through its students. They were also able to see another aspect of Concordia’s music program before the concert, when the jazz band put on a concert just for them.
Von Kampen feels that Musical Arts Day is a proud Concordia tradition; several current students attended it as high schoolers and credit it as influencing their decision to come to Concordia. It was launched 21 years ago by President Brian Friedrich.
“It was part of his vision to do this thing in kind of a bigger way where we have several groups performing,” von Kampen said. “We really owe a debt of gratitude to Brian Friedrich and his vision in helping promote the music department.”