2012 Grants

Two grants of $600 each were awarded to the Alpha Omicron chapter at Millikin University (Georgia Hornbacker, President), and the Beta Sigma chapter at Western Michigan University (Bradley Wong, President).

The Alpha Omicron chapter hosted a masterclass and concert with violinist Mark O'Conner. The events were advertised to schools in the area and the general public. Read an excerpt of their report below.

On Saturday, September 15, 2012 the Millikin University School of Music presented a masterclass given by violinist Mark O’Connor, internationally acclaimed fiddler and composer. He was the soloist on that evening’s concert by the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, performing his composition, Fiddle Concerto with the orchestra.

The masterclass covered the events of his life/career, his philosophy of music education, and his melding of classical with distinctly American music traditions, and then his critique of several performances of traditional American music by students and faculty from the university and the surrounding communities. He inspired the audience by playing/demonstrating to illustrate many of his observations.

The masterclass was attended by more than seventy students, faculty, and parents from Millikin University, Decatur, and the surrounding communities.

The Beta Sigma chapter hosted a residency program with the City of Tomorrow wind quintet and recipient of a gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The residency included  concerts, chamber music coaching, sessions in career development and entreprenerialship, and a composition workshop with discussion of effective writing for winds and the reading of student compositions.

This project was a residency that took place on our campus October 18 and 19, 2012. The resident ensemble was the City of Tomorrow (COT), the First Prize winner in the Wind Division of the 2011 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Our woodwind faculty selected this ensemble for the project not only because they have demonstrated a superior level of artistry, but as a relatively young group, we felt our students would connect with them well. We also appreciated COT’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit – qualities we feel are important to cultivate in our students.

In addition to a formal performance, COT did chamber music coaching and masterclasses, and presented sessions in career development and entrepreneurialism and composition techniques, reading student compositions and discussing effective writing for winds.

This project addressed a number of priorities of our School of Music – excellence in performance; promoting new repertoire and encouraging young composers (COT specializes in new works that most ensembles won’t take the effort to learn); creating a sense of entrepreneurialism in our students.

All activities were free and open to the public, and advertised online through a Constant Contact eBlast. There were approximately 110 audience members for the recital, which included students, faculty and community members.