MHS Wind Symphony Performs Joint Concert at BGSU
“An educational and musical success!” That’s how Mason High School Band Director Edward Protzman described the Wind Symphony’s concert at Bowling Green State University on February 1, 2018.
Renowned BGSU music professor and conductor Dr. Kenneth Thompson, who has worked with the Mason band program for many years as a guest clinician, invited Protzman and the MHS Wind Symphony to participate in the joint concert. The timing of the performance presented a challenge for Mason as the concert took place just a few weeks into the new semester; typically, bands schedule concerts at least six weeks into a semester. Because the BGSU ensemble performed all chamber music for the concert, Protzman selected contrasting full ensemble pieces and balanced new material with pieces from Mason’s December concert.
Protzman said the staff and students of BGSU were “amazing” about ensuring that his group felt welcome and important. While on campus, the MHS musicians, along with Protzman and fellow directors Johnnie Green and Joseph Woodie, interacted with BGSU’s Thompson, Dr. Michael King, and a group of the school’s music education majors. Prior to Mason’s on-campus rehearsal, Dr. Jeffrey Showell, Dean of BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, took time to welcome and talk with the group from MHS.
The concert, according to Protzman, “was an emotional-filled performance enhanced by the wonderful sound of the BGSU concert hall.” Wind Symphony members especially appreciated performing for university-level students and instructors. “This added an element of seriousness to the group’s performance, and it gave them the energy to perform at an incredible level,” shared Protzman. “It is not often you get to play for a hall full of musicians. Our students were proud to share their music, and I know they had a valuable musical experience listening to the outstanding BGSU groups.”
Protzman said that experiences like the BGSU concert are important for students on many levels. Traveling to perform at a university gives music students a preview of what playing in college is like, and for some students, can be the catalyst for continuing to play in college. This kind of experience also provides the opportunity to spend quality time with classmates while traveling. “Through the entire trip, these students were incredible to work and travel with,” shared Protzman. “They all represented Mason with the highest level of professionalism.”