Wednesday, December 7, 2022

MSU Bands opens their season at the Wharton with student and faculty collaboration

September 30, 2022
<p>The Wharton Performing Arts Center on Michigan State&#x27;s campus welcomes Broadway produced shows every semester. From Hadestown to Hamilton and Frozen, there is always something spectacular to go see on campus. Photographed on July 19, 2022.</p>

The Wharton Performing Arts Center on Michigan State's campus welcomes Broadway produced shows every semester. From Hadestown to Hamilton and Frozen, there is always something spectacular to go see on campus. Photographed on July 19, 2022.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

The Wharton Center will be home to the opening of the 2022-2023 season of Encore! with MSU Bands and the Music Department. Opening concerts run from Sept. 30, Oct. 12 and Oct. 20.

“(Opening) is always important because they’re always anxious to play again when you take three and a half months off," director of the MSU Wind Symphony Kevin Sedatole said. "People are very anxious because people love to play in ensembles.”

Sedatole said that working with not only the great students, but the great personalities in the band is his favorite part of putting together the opening concerts. He said it creates an energy that can only be found in a musical ensemble.

The Wharton Center also changes the atmosphere for these bands. Playing in a concert hall rather than a student hall raises the stakes for students.

“I think that's one of the really unique things about Michigan State is that we get to perform in a real hall ... we get treated, and are expected to be, like professionals," Sedatole said.

Sedatole also said it allows students to see the level of professionalism they'll be performing at when they are done with school.

According to Sedatole, the faculty and students are striving for the same goal: a great performance highlighting the talent in the music school.

"We have such a great community here and are very supportive of each other," Sedatole said. "It makes coming to work very special.”

Associate professor of oboe Nermis Mieses is an addition to the Wind Symphony this year. She will be playing as a soloist.

“It's definitely a big honor because playing as a soloist is a very important opportunity that any musician would agree is precious to have during our careers," Mieses said. "This is a skill that we train throughout our young artistic years of studying in order to be able to do. The vast majority of musicians even worldwide only get to solo with a large ensemble a few times in their career.”

Mieses is excited to show off what the oboe adds to a symphonic piece, as she plays cinema music with a baroque period inspiration.

“This piece is interesting because the oboe is not the instrument people first think of as a solo instrument in front of a large ensemble," Mieses said. "I really love what this piece is about, and how it presents the relevance of the oboe in our history of music. The piece is about depicting ... the inspiration that instrument has had in the minds of composers and musicians across time.”

While nervous about her performance, Mieses said she will stay focused on the music. It will not only a memorable night for herself, she said, but everyone that wants to perform in the heart of MSU.

She uses these same ideas in her teaching.

“(Teaching) brings balance to my creative endeavors," Mieses said. "I am learning from them at the same time I'm guiding them, and it's just as fulfilling to teach those meaningful moments of discoveries alongside with my students.”

Associate professor of composing David Biedenbender is also planning something for the opening of the season: unveiling a piece he wrote two years ago.

“I love collaborating with musicians as a composer," Biedenbender said. "I write the piece as it sort of exists in my head as instructions for sound, but it's them really bringing it to life; collaborating with students and colleagues is a dream.”

His piece entitled "Something Deeply Hidden" is inspired by both Beethoven's 3rd Symphony and a quote from Albert Einstein, "Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.”

“(The piece) is sort of thinking about Einstein writing an equation to talk about this thing that seemed out of reach out of grasp, sort of beyond our intuition," Biedenbender said. "I think Beethoven was doing the same thing with music. The piece is supposed to synthesize those two ideas, that there's a kind of emotional and intellectual searching and yearning for something deeply hidden.”

Biedenbender said while MSU is a research school, the music school also prides itself in the college's creative work -- with the faculty and students coming together to make something bigger than themselves.

“Music is this vibrant, integral and necessary part of having our own cultural discourse here on campus, and with the community around us too," Biendenbender said.

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