Band leader encourages involvement

As someone who wants to work for a band of teammates who hit things, no one would guess Elizabeth Nicodemus is the president of the Waynesburg University Symphonic Band. Nicodemus, senior sports management major and biblical studies minor, took over as president at the beginning of her junior year. When the previous president left, Nicodemus was deemed most qualified to take over the position.

“I have the fine arts scholarship to play in band for all four years,” Nicodemus said. “Having that, I am getting money to do this. So I figured I might as well do something and get more involved instead of just being there to play.”

As president, Nicodemus has the task of leading band members, and also to assist in organizational assignments. Her main responsibility is serving as a liaison between Dr. Ronda DePriest, director of the Music Program, the band members and other faculty and staff.

“She really has a handle on how things run best for the band in terms of being effective lead,” DePriest said. “She is a great liaison to [Associate Dean of Students] Pat Bristor, Student Activities Board and [campus] organizations. Elizabeth is one of those people who you can explain what the goal is, what you are trying to create, and she can take the ball and run with it.”

Nicodemus’ instrument is the clarinet. Her skills, both in performance and leadership, have earned her the role of clarinet section leader and spots in main prestigious events, said DePriest.

“She’s been in our woodwind quintet, which is one of our small ensembles. They play very difficult music,” DePriest said. “She’s been in a few Charter Day [performances], which we [wouldn’t]  ask a group to play on Charter Day who isn’t able to present themselves well.”

Nicodemus almost didn’t associate herself with band in college. By the time she had graduated high school, band exhausted her. So much, she didn’t want to play anymore. After winning the Fine Arts Department scholarship, however, she decided to return to the stage.

“[After] I got [the scholarship], I was like ‘ok, it can’t hurt,’” she said. “We only meet twice a week. We have two concerts a semester. So it wasn’t a ridiculous amount of extra work.”

At first, Nicodemus pursued a degree in arts administration. The major, however, became tedious for her, a repeat of her high school band experience. Because of her love of hockey, she switched to sports management. She doesn’t expect to have the same loss of interest happen to her with sports. 

“If you think about it, I could easily be burnt out,” Nicodemus said. “But I think because [sports is] such a more broad thing compared to music that it’s not just one thing I do.”

While Nicodemus never expected many things to happen to her at Waynesburg, she has enjoyed this chapter of her life. What allowed her to enjoy all her activities was having the ability to  “dabble in a little bit of everything.”

“It’s been fun,” Nicodemus said. “I didn’t expect for it to be fun to have a leadership position and not get super stressed out. I think having all these different outlets to be a part of has been good for me [because] I’m not getting burnt out with one thing.”