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All About the M.U. Symphonic Band

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Marquette University Symphonic Band

     Music with Heart. This has two meanings.

     The Symphonic Band is the heart of the MU Band program. This is the main focus for the entire academic year, and it is the largest portion of the program. Without the Symphonic Band, there may not be any MU Band program at all.

     The Symphonic Band is open to all students interested in continuing their musical pursuits. All band instrumentation and skill levels are welcome, and you can rent equipment at the beginning of the year if you don't have your own instrument. No one is denied admission; auditions are held for chair placement only. The Symphonic Band is offered as a class, but it functions as an university organization.

     "Music with Heart" can also describe the students and the conductor. There is no school of music at Marquette. There are no music majors, no one comes for a music degree, no credit is given for band. These students are here because they want to be. They put the heart behind the music. Without the effort these students produce, the band would not be as great as it is.

     The same can be said for the director, Dr. Nicholas J. Contorno. Dr. Contorno is in his 18th year as Symphonic Band Conductor, a role he took following the retirement of Dr. William Geisheker in 1983. For 16 years before that, Dr. Contorno was leader of the Jazz Ensembles, making the 2000-2001 year his 34th year of involvement with Marquette University.

     There is an officer core elected every year to oversee the many events that take place throughout the academic year. The band has picnics, parties and dances for its members.

     The band also promotes music in area middle schools by annually hosting a middle school concert band invitational.

     There are also possibilities of organizing ensembles for more playing experience, depending on student interest and time. Brass and woodwind choirs have been formed in the past year allowing for experience, playing in small bands. If interest exists, one or more Small Ensemble Concerts may be planned for the school year.

     To enjoy the Symphonic Band in the comfort of your own home, buy a copy of the brand new Symphonic Band CD, Stageside!

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Last Update: June 11, 2001