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Concert band changes

The main change to the band program is directoral. Dr. Scott Muntefering (pictured above) conducts the Symphonic band while Dr. Craig Hancock conducts the Wind Ensemble. —Lauren Matysik/TRUMPET
The main change to the band program is directoral. Dr. Scott Muntefering (pictured above) conducts the Symphonic band while Dr. Craig Hancock conducts the Wind Ensemble. —Lauren Matysik/TRUMPET

The Wartburg College Concert Bands (WCCB) have gone through major changes since the new school year began.

For the last 18 years, the Wind Ensemble, a group of 55 members, and the Symphonic band, a group of 92 members, have been under the direction of Dr. Craig Hancock.

As of this year, Dr. Scott Muntefering is the conductor of the Symphonic Band and Hancock of the Wind Ensemble.

“Two bands, two conductors, two different styles, enhances the students’ perspective of the different teaching methods, if one decides to be a band instructor,” Muntefering said.

Hancock also believes it is important for students to get a variety of experiences.

“[Students get to] see two different directors, two different teachers doing the same sort of basic job,” Hancock said.

Many students are enjoying the new experience of two directors. Jamie Harrings, vice president of Symphonic Band, said having two conductors makes sense.

“Conducting two bands at the college level is a lot, and most colleges do not have one conductor for two bands. It also takes a lot of the stress off Dr. Hancock,” Harrings said.

Wind Ensemble member Catherine Wilcox said the idea of two directors is nice, but it poses a new set of challenges.

“One of the things we promote as a program is being one family, but when the one director doesn’t see the members of the band, it can make the members feel separated from one another,” Wilcox said.

Zachary Schrupp, president of Symphonic Band, feels the bands are not nearly the family they have previously been.

He also believes that band bonding, a time when the groups come together to get to know each other, was not the same this year.

Adding that after a few hours of being together, the bands split up and minor traditions that were once held close, didn’t happen.

The next band concerts  are Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

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