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Concert band performance to feature student conductor Esther Tupper


The Jacobs School of Music will present a concert band performance conducted by visiting professor Marcellus Brown, assistant professor of music Tiffany Galus and wind conducting doctoral candidate Esther Tupper. 

The band will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 19 in Auer Hall and will feature eight pieces of music. 

The concert band is made up of students ranging from undergraduate to graduate, giving those who audition the chance to perform as a group and learn from skilled conductors. 

Tupper will be leading a rendition of “Danzó No. 2” by Arturo Márquez to kick off her first conducting piece for the fall semester. Given the piece by Galus, Tupper embraced the composition head on, emphasizing the teaching aspect of the conducting role.  

“There’s all sorts of idiosyncrasies that happen in that unique symbiosis of artistry between players and conductors,” Tupper said. “The students are making the music, but it’s my job to keep everyone together and to inspire them artistically.”  

While the piece Tupper will conduct is familiar to the wind band repertoire, numerous factors can change a performance in little ways. The performance space, the musicians and the conductor’s inner ear all make for a unique experience with every performance – while still retaining the core style of the piece. 

“It does have a Latin inspired style that we have to achieve and get right,” Tupper said. “But every rehearsal and performance of a piece is always slightly different, which makes it very exciting.” 

“Danzó No. 2,” while originally composed for an orchestra, has been modified as an arrangement for concert band — which features no strings but a woodwinds, brass and percussion section. Through this performance, Tupper hoped to teach the students to avoid perfectionism and strive instead for personal greatness. 

[RELATED: Jacobs School of Music to open fall opera season with ‘The Merry Widow’ Sept. 22]

“There will always be mistakes, and we’re not going to be able to reach that perfect performance. Perfect performances don’t exist,” Tupper said. “But great performances do, and passionate ones do, and that’s the point— not to teach them how to be perfect but how to properly collaborate with their colleagues in an ensemble setting which coordinates with life.” 

These concert band performances serve to help the students experience collaboration on a level they can expect to see in their professional careers, working on balancing and supporting each other musically and being aware of their own playing in a group setting. 

“Being able to play in an orchestra or a chamber ensemble is such a valuable skill because whether the students are going into music education or performance or arts administration, life is all about people and about relationships,” Tupper said.  

The concert is free for all IU students. Similar student orchestra performance dates can be found on the Jacobs School of Music Events Calendar.  

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