To most, music is just for entertainment, but for others it’s the key to their future.
“It means everything. It’s literally my life,” said Ash Gimler, a Tyler Junior College music major.
The Music Department is one of the 20 Liberal Arts and Science departments on the TJC campus. The music department brings entertainment and most of all education to the students who are interested in a career path that includes music and the arts.
“When students sign up for courses, I expect them to do work,” said Larry Marta professor/department chair of music at TJC. “When students do their work, they will succeed in whatever they’re doing.”
Students share similar expectations for themselves.
“I expect vocally to expand my range…get more socially… familiar with the music department,” said Gimler.
The music department offers private lessons such as guitar, piano, organ and vocal lessons. Private lessons are available for non-music majors as well.
“Every music major has to take private lessons on their instruments or voice and then be part of a larger group, singers, choir, band, etc,” said Kerry Baham, TJC music professor.
Students can choose from Guitar Ensemble directed by Professor Frank Kimlicko, Jazz Bands directed by Professor Heather Mensch, Percussion Ensemble directed by Professor Tom McGowan and Harmony and Understanding directed by Nathan Russell. All are different ensembles that deal with choir, band or vocals. These are just a few of the opportunities that are available for students who are involved in the music department and music majors. However, these opportunities come with a lot of practice. Each ensemble may require different skills from each student who auditions. Prior music performance experiences are necessary for admission.
“The annual spring musical is where students can show off their talents. The spring musical for this year is the production of ‘Into the Woods,'” said Marta.
The annual musical production showcases the student’s talents by juggling their skills in singing, dancing and acting all at the same time. Into the Woods will be performed Feb. 23-26.
The Spring semester is the time of the school year where music majors can show their progress over the two semesters. By doing so, the music department as well as the theatre department, put on performances, recitals and events. TJC students, parents and the public can have a chance to see how talented the music department students of TJC really are.
“More people should definitely come to the student recitals every Friday when they start in March,” said Jacque Curtsinger, a TJC music major.
Recitals are student performances. In order to perform in a recital, the music major student, whom is taking private lessons with their instructor, must ask permission to be in the recital or the instructor will tell the student to be in the recital. The instructor is capable of making the decision whether or not the student is ready. Recitals have free admission to all who want to come and enjoy the performance; music majors must attend each recital. Many students at TJC campus are not familiar with the recitals. However, the music department would like to spread the word that all recitals and other performances happening throughout the spring semester are free with a current student I.D. All are welcome to come and enjoy the performances.
The first recital of the semester will be March 4. Following that date, there will be a recital in Jean Browne Theatre in the Wise Cultural Arts building on TJC’s main campus.