Professors collaborate with students

Chamber Orchestra concert showcases talents 

March 5, 2014

By Abrielle Backhaus

By Signe Trewyn


In the Chamber Orchestra, professors are not only educators; they are partners.

Instead of the usual professor-to-student format, students and professors play side-by-side.


Chamber Orchestra Director Christopher Ramaekers said he enjoys the spotlight while working together with his students.

“I really enjoy collaborating with professors and students while directing the orchestra,” Ramaekers said.

The chamber orchestra puts on a few concerts each semester with the goal of incorporating students’ and professors’ different techniques.

The professors and students work together to create different pieces with varying styles of music, Ramaekers said.

“It is appealing to see students perform alongside their professors,” Ramaekers said.

Ramaekers said he hopes students can gain an appreciation for classical music through the first piece played and an admiration for the collaborative quality of the orchestra.

Leslie LaMuro, associate director of public events, said the audience will be able to feel the enthusiasm from the performance.

“There is a lot of energy put forth towards the performance because of the students,” LaMuro said.

Some of the instruments that will be played are the violin, viola, cello, flute and bass.

Pianist Mackenzie Wiley, a senior, has been performing with the chamber orchestra for three years.


“I hope the audience accepts the fact that the pieces are different than the typical pieces that are performed in an orchestra,” Wiley said.

Wiley said she enjoys the ability to not only learn from her professors in the classroom but to play next to them in the chamber orchestra.

With a goal to graduate with a degree in music, Wiley said her professors inspire her to stick with her goal.

“My professors have influenced my music pursuit heavily,” Wiley said. “Every single professor I’ve had has had a very positive influence they are incredible.”

Wiley has performed with other professors, including Benjamin Whitcomb and Leanne League, in the symphony orchestra.

“What I’ve learned most about music is that it has its own message, and a performer has their own personal way of conveying that message,” Wiley said.

The free concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6, in Light Recital Hall at the Greenhill Center of the Arts.