Singing, marching, rehearsing, playing, performing. The music department offers several organizations that utilize these words in their musical endeavors.
Ensembles are one such option that allow students to perform pieces together in a variety of genres.
Kaylin Guillory, a senior music major, is currently involved in the Women’s Chorale. She explained that the chorale requires singers to have determination in their practice.
“The singers have to be independent and self-motivated to learn the music on their own,” said Guillory. “This makes rehearsal more productive because we can work on things such as blend or musicality instead of teaching pitches and rhythms.”
The music department allows non-music majors some opportunities to express their talents.
Bailey Melancon, a sophomore education major, is a member of the university’s Concert Choir and was a member of the Women’s Chorale for the past two semesters. She shared how performing in an ensemble brings several people together to accomplish one task.
“Whether that is with our voices or with an instrument, we still come together and make music as we love to,” said Melancon. “Being in an ensemble allows you to focus on different aspects of a piece, like all the harmonies intertwining with the melody.”
With a plethora of music genres, the challenge to perform a piece well can hang over some performers.
Melancon stated a challenge she faced this semester.
“This fall, we are performing a large variety of pieces from Norwegian folk songs to emotional Latin, and it is very, very easy to fall behind on a piece, whether it’s the rhythm or the notes or even the text itself,” said Melancon. “It’s like our repertoire is one big emotional roller coaster.”
The many music organizations on campus have not only unified musicians, but have also crafted lifelong memories.
Sara Cage, a senior music major, shared her experience from her first performance at the university.
“The very first concert for fall 2015 was entitled ‘Music of the Heart,’” said Cage. “The music touched my heart, and through it, I’ve made friends that I will know and love for a lifetime. My musicianship has grown since joining the Southeastern choir.”
One student in particular is currently active in four different music organizations.
A member of the university Wind Symphony, the Jazz Ensemble and the “Spirit of the Southland” Marching Band, Benjamin Reaux, a senior music major, also serves as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s fraternity education officer. He shared how the fraternity has impacted him.
“Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia has given me a devotion to my craft and the power to affect the lives of others through music,” said Reaux.
Reaux said that Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s “56th National Convention” allowed him to connect with fraternity members across the nation. He also shared his musical talent at the convention.
“I auditioned for and was selected to perform in the national fraternity’s premiere jazz ensemble, the 1898 Jazz Orchestra with the famous jazz trombonist, Andy Martin,” said Reaux.
Whether it’s Greek life, chorales or ensembles, music unifies.
Guillory explained that the chorale is a “transcendental” experience.
Guillory said, “I feel like when I join an ensemble, we have a collective goal to provide an almost unearthly experience for both ourselves and the audience.”