Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Orchestra continues to grow

Courtesy of UW Oshkosh Flickr The Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra performs at a previous concert under the conduction of the director of orchestras, Dylan Thomas Chmura-Moore.

Many UW Oshkosh music ensembles have grown in size, despite the school having an $18 million deficit and a decline in admissions.

Katherine Decker is a part of the cello faculty at UW Oshkosh and principal cello for the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, where she mentors students, advises sectional rehearsals and works closely with students near the time of the concert.

“We’ve all seen so many impacts from the deficit, and how the university has chosen to face that deficit,” Decker said. “It’s actually been strange timing because in the music department we’ve seen growth in several of our ensembles.”

UWO is home to several ensembles, including choirs, orchestras, bands and an orchestra where all students can audition to play music no matter their ability level or major.

“We’re seeing unprecedented participation in these ensembles, with big numbers, when we’re seeing less students actually come in, less majors come in the department,” Decker said.

There is less of a worry about finding students to participate in music ensembles and more of a worry about how OSO will continue to operate through the deficit and other budget issues that may arise, she said.

“I wonder the viability for all of the ensembles. I worry for them because of the budget, not because of the student numbers,” Decker said. “Because I feel like the students are participating more and more, if anything just to de-stress.”

Rebecca Briesemeister is a fifth-year student at UWO majoring in music education and violin performance. She is also a member of OSO.

“Throughout my five years at UWO, I’ve been a part of the orchestra and have been able to see it prevail through COVID and grow immensely over the last year as part of the OSO,” Briesemeister said.

OSO is open to the community around Oshkosh as well. Community members can audition, which can lead to opportunities for students outside of the classroom. “Being able to work with community members during my university orchestra experience has allowed me to see directly how music and community impacts everyone,” Briesemeister said. “This type of community and sense of belongingness is something I will strive to create and continue to be a part of after my time at UWO.”

Briesemeister said that music is a popular way for students to destress from school or things going on in their life. She said it gives students the opportunity to practice music or view it in concerts, which may help increase our admittance at UWO. “The consistency of playing in orchestra during my time at UWO has been so comforting knowing that whatever is going on in my academics or the outside world, the community and consistency of orchestra is always there on Monday nights,” Briesemeister said.

The OSO will perform its next concert along with UWO choirs April 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the UWO Music Hall.

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