Conductors travel to perform music symposium at Waynesburg

Professional and soon-to-be professional conductors will be traveling from all over the country to come to Waynesburg University for a conducting symposium.

Dr. Richard Mayne, professor of music at the University of Northern Colorado, will be leading the symposium while the Waynesburg symphonic band will be playing.

Mayne is a bandmaster and has led orchestras at the college level, professional and overseas in Japan.

Dr. Ronda DePriest, director of the music program, connected with Mayne when she was pursuing her doctorate degree. There are only around 200 bandmasters in the country and to be one is no easy task, according to DePriest.

“I hate to use the word pedigree, but he has quite an amount of pedigree,” said DePriest. “He just has a wealth of knowledge about how to put great concerts together [and]  how to work repertoires with ensembles and that’s what he’s going to bring to us.”

There will be eight conductors from  middle school, high school, college and professional levels of education that will come to Waynesburg Feb. 1- 2 to learn from Mayne.

Waynesburgs’ band will act as the clinic band for all of the conductors along with 26 other players, that will include alumni and community members. DePriest is intrigued to find out how the group will adjust to different styles of conducting.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how our guys adapt, to be able to follow different conductors as well,” said Depriest. “Now what we added last year was two weeks after this the symphonic band will use this same material to play a concert.”

Along with 26 members of the Waynesburg band, another 26 members will be coming to play that include alumni and community members like Jonathan Briggs, who lives in Pittsburgh and graduated from West Greene High School. When Briggs played in West Greene’s band, they were invited to come with Waynesburg, and that’s where he got to know DePriest.This will be the ninth conductor symposium Briggs will participate in.

“Once you mesh with a group and particularly [Dr. DePriest], she’s great about remember you when you or she needs,” Briggs said.

The concert will be open to the public Feb. 13 and will be conducted by DePriest who, according to senior sports management major Elizabeth Nicodemus, will be able to find a great way to lead the band when the concert comes.