By SEAN ROWLEY
Local musicians got their first chance to pool talents for the 2014 NSU Communiversity Band as they began preparing for an April concert.
The Communiversity Band is a concert ensemble composed of NSU students and members of the Tahlequah community. Their first rehearsal was Tuesday in the Fine Arts building on campus.
“This is our third year for this band, and it is always exciting,” said Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. “This year, I am seeing a lot of new faces, especially from the community.”
Many students participating in the band say they look forward to working with off-campus talent.
“I joined because I have been in marching band, but I also enjoy playing in concert band,” said Webster Shelton, a Lawton sophomore who plays trumpet. “In marching band, there may be a few people who are five or six years older than me. Here, there are players who might be 40 years older who have played for decades. You have to realize they might be better than you.”
Allison Kinkead, a freshman from Claremore, plays the euphonium.
“There are some older people here, and that can present a good challenge,” Kinkead said.
“They have knowledge and experience. I’m also excited about the chance to let people see how the music department works at NSU.”
Trumpet players David Van Donkelaar and Richard Goforth are in their early 60s.
“I started out with clarinet, and played the French horn in high school,” Van Donkelaar said. “I started playing trumpet about 18 years and have enjoyed it ever since.”
Goforth took up music in the fifth grade, playing piano through college. He served as a band director for 12 years, and is now the circulation director for the Tulsa World.
“This is a fun community thing, and we get to be around these young people and play some good music,” Goforth said. “I do notice that they text all the time.”
Trombone player Robert Young is a veteran of the NSU Communiversity Band.
“I’ve been doing this ever since Norman [Wika] stared putting it together,” he said. “This helps to keep me in practice.”
The band will perform its concert on April 27 at 7 p.m. in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. Wika will determine the pieces to be performed.
“I have some pieces picked out,” he said. “But you never know until you get started whether they are going to actually work. The concert will feature a mix of standard band pieces, including some new selections.”
For more information, call Wika at (918) 444-2706 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read an online exclusive about which composers Wika is consid-ering for the NSU Communi-versity Band concert, go to tahlequah TDP.com