Orchestra director brings new ideas, goals
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 02:11
Dylan Chmura-Moore has accepted his first tenure-track job as UW Oshkosh’s new orchestra director and is bringing fresh ideas to the orchestra.
“This is my first year conducting the UW Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra and I am thrilled with the opportunity,” Chmura-Moore said. “I’ve just finished three full days of auditions and the roster is set. Now time for the rehearsals to begin. I’m excited.”
Chmura-Moore is committed and knowledgeable, according to Beth Chafey-Hon, Oshkosh orchestra member.
“He pours his heart and soul into the rehearsals and concerts,” Chafey-Hon said. “He is very organized with rehearsals and knows right where we need to work the most.”
According to Chmura-Moore, colleagues and students played a big role in his decision to teach at Oshkosh.
“I came to Oshkosh because of the fantastic colleagues with which I get to work and the vibrant student body with whom I have the pleasure of making music,” Chmura-Moore said.
Oshkosh freshman Abby Lauer attended the orchestra’s first concert in October.
“It was an awesome concert,” Lauer said. “I’m looking forward to attending the next one in December. They were great.”
The orchestra’s first concert of the semester was in October. According to Chmura-Moore, the orchestra has participated in two other events.
The first event was a String Festival, which is an annual festival of orchestra music that brought many local string players to campus for a day of music making, master classes, sectionals, concerts and pedagogy.
“I am so very proud of the Oshkosh students who took part,” Chmura-Moore said. “They each were charged with working with the younger participants and mentoring them in best practices of string playing and rehearsing. It was a great day.”
As an opening to their first concert, the orchestra participated in two musical flash-mobs. One was in Reeve Memorial Union and the other one was in Polk Library.
“I felt like by engaging in musical flash-mobs, we took our music outside of the concert hall and shared it with the campus community,” Chmura-Moore said. “This activity not only well advertises the orchestra, but also allows the students to more personally interact with an audience and offer their music making to a broader listening body.”
Courtney Buvid, Oshkosh orchestra member, said Chmura-Moore isn’t afraid to be himself.
“I appreciate his openness and the whimsical character that he brings,” Buvid said. “The result seems to be more natural with our combined ‘individual-ness’ painting a unique picture for each performance.”
Chmura-Moore said he believes music can be challenging for orchestra.
“There is music to learn which includes individual practice, sectional rehearsal, full orchestra rehearsal and performance,” Chmura-Moore said. “There are histories in which to engage knowledge about the music performed, knowledge about the time period in which the music was composed, knowledge about the composer and listening to various recordings, which are two demanding and time-consuming challenges.”
Chmura-Moore stirs up enthusiasm, according to Chafey-Hon.
“He tells funny stories that are right in line with what he wants to get from our playing,” Chafey-Hon said. “He is completely aware of each and every player and whether we have practiced. But, he never is humiliating to single out anyone. He feels even though the director’s position is historically a ‘dictatorship,’ we work as a team. Many times he will start conducting, then have us continue without his baton so that we listen and blend on our own.”
Being a new director at Oshkosh, Chmura-Moore said he has a number of goals in mind.
“My goals are simply said,” Chmura-Moore said. “Have fun, develop a more meaningful community, further future collegial relationships, achieve musical excellence [and] engage an audience in impact-full musical experiences.”
According to Buvid, Chmura-Moore keeps the rehearsal moving along.
“There isn’t a lot of downtime unless he’s working with another section, but even then, he doesn’t dwell on it,” Buvid said. “He trusts that we have to want to make the music sound to its best potential, and that it requires individual practicing outside of rehearsal. Time is precious to musicians and he makes the most of that time.”
Chafey-Hon said he believes the position of director/conductor can be heady and egotistical.