New leading Mann

New director in orchestra department provides students inspiration, opportunities

Orchestra director Thomas Mann leads the orchestra during their winter concert. Mann wrote seven pieces over the course of his gradu- ate course to get his masters, including a piece for the Akins orchestra to perform.

Like many programs on campus, the orchestra department had been going through changes.

Orchestra director Thomas Mann, who took over the program this fall, has been encouraging a more involved program. As part of his graduate program, Mann wrote orchestral pieces that the orchestra performed at Texas State University. Mann said that he was excited for the students to experience a more “official” type of concert.

“It’s almost as close as you can get to an internship,” Mann said.

The orchestra students that performed at Texas State got to perform in the school’s new center. Senior Melaina Newman said that the Texas State show meant a lot to her.

“I will be attending Texas State next fall as a musician,” Newman said. “I hope it won’t be the last time I’m on that stage. It really set a realistic goal in my head.”

Mann said that he was excited about the show because it signified finality in his graduate degree. In addition to this, he said that the performance provided a good opportunity for orchestra students.

I hope it won’t be the last time I’m on that stage.”

— Senior Melaina Newman

“Some of them then were going (to Texas State) for music, so they (were) able to meet the people that are going to be their professors for the next four years,” Mann said.

In addition to the Texas State performance, the students had a winter concert they performed in the theater. Newman, first chair, said that she worked hard to prepare for the performance.

“I prepared myself and my orchestra by scheduling sectionals for my violins, giving instructions for each of them and being understanding and patient with other members,” Newman said.

Newman said that Mann has been a good teacher to her during his time with her during the program. She said that he has been a good adviser to her.

“I think he’s a wonderful teacher,” Mann said. “He’s quickly become a role model for me in such an important time in my life, showing me what I should expect in college and life as a composition student.”