The Wartburg Community Symphony is more than just an organization for students, but it is also for the people in the Cedar Valley.
The symphony is unlike the other music organizations at Wartburg because it isn’t made up of only students, conductor of the Wartburg Community Symphony Dr. Daniel Kaplunas, said.
“The students get to play alongside community members, some of them are really good, and the students get to learn from professionals,” Kaplunas said. “It’s a great experience for students.”
While the ensemble has professional musicians, the dynamic of the group doesn’t seem to change, Nicole Mittlestadt, a student in the symphony, said.
“We all have the same significance within the ensemble. It’s good to have the experience from people who are a little bit older and have probably been playing a lot longer, but the students are completely integrated into the group,” Mittlestadt said.
Maria DeSilva, another student in the ensemble, said that being with the professionals in the group is unique.
“It’s cool. I like seeing it kind of because they are always so into the music and they are always moving around while we play,” DeSilva said.
The members from the Cedar Valley also sense a special connection the symphony offers.
Todd Williams, a Waterloo resident, is new to the ensemble. He said the group dynamic is unlike others he has been in.
“The mix is different. There is a vary in age levels and experience levels and technique levels, which is tricky to blend, but I think we, as a group, play wonderfully considering the vast range in age and experiences,” Williams said.
The ensemble doesn’t just focus on bringing together people from the community, Elaine Main, board of trustees member for the symphony, said.
“It is neat that high school students that have a lot of talent are invited to play with the symphony,” Main said. “And so they get the experience of being with college students who are doing these marvelous things and other professionals too.”
Main said so far the symphony has collaborated with Mason City and Charles City high schools. She said the students would come together and rehearse with the Wartburg group and then play part of the concert.