Band Symposium gives great experience to aspiring musicians

Applause erupted from the crowd as the 7th Annual Tri-State Band Symposium came to a close with the resounding notes of Edwin Goldman’s “The Chimes of Liberty.”

This performance, directed by Brant Karrick and guest conductors, Curtis Essig, and Jeffrey Reed, combined a multitude of different pieces influenced by several different cultures which helped students learn from a broad range of instruments and composition styles.

Karrick, the director of the band program at NKU, invites guest conductors every year to Band Symposium because he believes great teachers are great to the students involved in music on campus.

Karrick said that his favorite piece to conduct would have to be Leonard Bernstein’s Pronation from “Jeremiah, Symphony No. 1” and that his colleague, Jeffrey Reed, rather enjoyed conducting Alfred Reed’s “A Festival Prelude” and “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance.

He said that his biggest inspiration for his music career is his parents. Karrick grew up in a musical household with his father, who was a band director, and his mother, who was a professional keyboard player, an organist.

Junior jazz studies major AJ Pearson said he enjoys working with the younger students the most because, like him, they try to get the most out of their education and become better musicians, so he wants to help in any way he can.

Pearson also added, “Working with our guest conductors was a nice treat. It was great just having that other perspective on how to play the piece that we were working on with them.”

After a couple of years as a cello player, Pearson decided to switch to the saxophone because he said he was “drawn” to the instrument. He said that he has definitely made the right choice and continues to better himself as a jazz musician.

He said his biggest musical influence would have to be his uncle and his cousins who are also involved in the musical arts.

Matthew Spencer, a freshman music composition major, said what he enjoys most about Band Symposium is the “artistic repertoire and the thrill of a concert.”

Spencer, who has received a scholarship to play the clarinet, said that his biggest musical inspiration is Jennifer Hidgon, a composer who teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

“It went pretty good. We were worried about the weather and you know just so many many details, a lot of fires to constantly put out, but the kids had a really good experience,” Karrick said.