University of Wisconsin-Superior
Holden Fine Arts Center 1100
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
News and Events Details
By Elizabeth Reichert
University Relations student writer
Demanding but fun, challenging but rewarding -- that's how it is for 13 University of Wisconsin-Superior Music Department faculty members who also perform with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Erin Aldridge, associate professor of violin and concertmaster of the DSSO, said having so many faculty members involved in the orchestra "shows a level of commitment to arts in the area." And, she added, "It's great fun; wonderful to play."
Serving on the UW-Superior faculty and in the orchestra can be a special experience. "To be able to play the great symphonic works at a high level is a really fun thing," Aldridge said. "(It's) more special when (performing with) colleagues and friends."
UW-Superior students also like seeing their professors in a respected symphony.
"For students, it's a sense of pride to know their faculty members have such a visible position in the symphony," said Dr. Beth Gilbert, chair of the Music Department and principal keyboardist for the DSSO. "Students go to the symphony. They talk about it in classes, in lessons. They're very proud. They can say, 'I studied trumpet with that guy' or 'I studied violin with her.' I would be proud that that's my teacher. External validation -- not because they say they're good, not because they have a doctorate, but because someone else says we're good."
Being part of the DSSO is personally rewarding for the faculty as well.
"A high level of music-making - it's really satisfying personally and professionally. I have enormous respect for the people I work with in the symphony . . . It touches a place in your soul, it's hard to take in any other level. So personally satisfying," Gilbert said.
Filling the dual role as symphony member and faculty member can be difficult. Their full-time schedules and the symphony's evening rehearsals make for full days. Everybody does it because everybody loves making music together, Gilbert said.
UW-Superior faculty members who perform with the DSSO include:
Despite the time demands, Gilbert hopes UW-Superior can maintain a strong presence in the symphony because it's good for the orchestra, the faculty members, and UW-Superior.
"This area is so fortunate to have a symphony orchestra as high of quality as the Duluth Superior Symphony. It's a wonderful area, a great place," Gilbert said. "If you're in the arts, the Twin Ports is a wonderful place to live."
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