Banding together

Hanover College students collaborate
with local musicians in orchestra

Group allows are residents to play on campus

By Amy Casebier
Contributing Writer

(December 2007) – Jessica Gowler is a Hanover College student who plays one of the first violin parts in the Hanover College Community Orchestra. She has played violin since she was six years old, and has been a part of the orchestra for two semesters during her time at Hanover. She joined even though neither her middle school nor high school had an orchestra.

Hanover College Orchestra

Photo by Amy Casebier

The Hanover College Community
Orchestra allows community
members and college students
to perform together.

“It’s rewarding to see everyone succeed,” Gowler said. “It takes the pressure off of one person and makes it more enjoyable.”
The orchestra puts on two performances a year in the Fitzgibbon Recital Hall in the Lynn Center at Hanover College. Their first performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. This concert will feature several popular classical arrangements, such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D major. The second performance will be at 7:30 p.m. April 5, 2008.
The orchestra is made up of 19 musicians, 10 of which are Hanover College students and nine who are community members.
“They come from all walks of life,” Dr. David Mruzek said of the participants in the orchestra. This is Mruzek’s second year for conducting the orchestra.
Tina Brinson has been playing violin for two years and learned about the orchestra from her instructor, Danny Wingham. Wingham participates in the orchestra, as does Brinson’s daughter, Katie.
“It challenged me to have a goal to work for,” Brinson said. “Time flies when I’m there.”
Rob Houze, owner of Crawdaddy Music in Madison, Ind., is also a member of the orchestra. He was there at the orchestra’s beginnings, which he estimates was 25 years ago.
“It’s enjoyable,” he said in regard to his experience playing with the orchestra. “Music is a release for different people. It takes you away from your daily madness.”
Houze also plays in the Hanover College Community production of “Messiah,” but beyond the orchestra and that event, he does not play classical music.
“It’s an opportunity to have the orchestra because it maintains my classical training,” Houze said. “I have a jazz quartet, and it’s a totally different thing.”
The orchestra is looking to add to its numbers. Any violin, viola, cello or string bass players are welcome.
“We can take any community member with training,” Mruzek said.
Orchestra rehearsals take place Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. in Room 122 in the Lynn Center for Fine Arts at Hanover College.
Mruzek, the Director of Instrumental Music at Hanover College, also conducts the Concert Band, Jazz Band and teaches instrumental lessons. He draws much of the orchestra’s material from the baroque and classical musical periods because of the prevalence of string music during those times. The majority of the orchestra is comprised of strings players, although there are two flutists and one pianist.

• For more information about the Hanover College Community Orchestra, call Dr. David Mruzek, at (812) 866-7329 or email him at mruzek@hanover.edu.

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