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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Strike a chord

 
 

When Emily Green came to Texas A&M, she did not think the University would have an orchestra. After attending the Memorial Student Center Open House and seeing a table for the A&M University Orchestra, however, she seized the chance to sign up.
Green has been involved with the orchestra ever since.
“I’ve played the viola since fourth grade,” said Green, a junior mechanical engineering major. “I really enjoy playing. Music is very important to me.”
Green, the orchestra’s president, said joining the orchestra at the time was an exciting experience.
“We are now just trying to become more established and to get more support from the University,” Green said.
The orchestra is a student-run organization and is not officially recognized by the University, Green said. She said she hopes to eventually see it become an official organization.
“A&M is a very large University, and most large universities have a respected orchestra,” Green said. “An important part of the development of A&M is the development of the music programs here.”
Brad Cawyer, Class of 2003 and the orchestra’s conductor, drives to College Station from Dallas once a week to conduct the orchestra as a volunteer, she said.
“Brad has been an amazing person to have for the orchestra,” Green said. “He has a passion for the orchestra. I’m not sure where we would be right now without him.”
As an aspiring conductor, Cawyer said conducting the orchestra is a great opportunity to gain experience. He began conducting during his last semester as an undergraduate at A&M.
“I like being part of creating an opportunity for students who otherwise wouldn’t have one,” Cawyer said.
Cawyer said the best parts of conducting the orchestra is helping the musicians work together to create something.
“Each musician gets their own part, and they see only what is on their page,” he said. “It becomes my responsibility to give them the ability to relate their part to everyone else’s. I really enjoy watching that come together.”
Cawyer said he hopes the orchestra members gain relief from stress and get the musical experience necessary to play in other ensembles, such as the Brazos Valley Symphony. He said he also hopes the orchestra is an opportunity for students to discover and build confidence in their own personal identities.
“So many people here consider music to be an important part of who they are,” Cawyer said. “In going to college, many people are trying to find who they are. I hope this provides a sense of stability for them.”
The orchestra is mainly composed of non-music majors who practice and perform on their own time, said Kim Owens, a sophomore civil engineering major and flute player.
“We all do this just for the fun and experience,” Owens said.
The orchestra does not compete, but holds a concert each semester, and hosts a mystery dinner theater every spring, she said.
“There’s quite a variety of people in the orchestra, and we all have a really good time,” Owens said. “I’ve met some of my best friends in the orchestra and people that I’ll keep in touch with for the rest of my life.”
The orchestra will hold its spring concert 2 p.m. Saturday at A&M United Methodist Church. Tickets are available through the MSC Box Office.

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