By senior year as a physics and space sciences dual major, I pretty much spend every waking hour doing something physics-related. Personally, I always need a break with something to rejuvenate myself. I have found Florida Tech’s concert band to be a great way to do so.
I have played the clarinet since grade school, and I was thrilled when I found out there was a band here. Apparently Florida Tech’s music program has not always been as well-known, though, according to responses such as “There’s a concert band here?” or “We have a music program?” I have gotten from fellow students over the years. With the recent addition of the music minor program, a lot more people have heard of it, of course, but I still thought an article about it would help out any students who enjoy music on top of their desired technical degree.
The music minor program requires 19 credits of music-related courses, which can include concert band, concert choir, string orchestra, jazz ensemble, music theory and ear training, introduction to world music cultures, and others. A few of the classes have to be taken more than once to reach the 19 required credits, but since most are performance-oriented, I doubt you’ll ever be doing the same thing.
You can add a minor at any time before your senior year, I believe, but sooner is better than later (remember, you have to fit 19 more credit hours into your current schedule!). This is simply done through the “Change in Major” button under the “Student” tab in PAWS, which has an “add a minor” option. Make sure you discuss it with your academic advisor and with the Director of Music Programs, Kevin Burke, before doing so, however.
The music minor is a fairly recent addition, coming into full effect at the beginning of my junior year, hence why I am not minoring in music, unfortunately. I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule, but I would have if it had been available my freshman year. But even if you don’t want a minor or think it would be too hard to fit it into your schedule, you can still take some music classes just for fun. I have taken concert band every semester and have loved it! The band may be a lot smaller than I was used to in high school, but we make up for it with better individual tuning and technique. It’s probably a similar situation for the orchestra and choir, who we have a combined concert with this semester on March 27 at 7 p.m. in the Gleason Performing Arts Center.
Something I was unaware of when I started at Florida Tech was the music scholarships available. Auditions for these are held every spring semester: Jamie Younkin is in charge of Wind, Brass, and Percussion auditions (firstname.lastname@example.org), Eliza Dopira in charge of Vocal and String auditions (email@example.com).
These entail participation in concert band, orchestra or choir for the entire academic year, as well as private lessons offered as a half-credit course called Applied Music. If you’re a music minor, you’ll already be doing both of those, so you may as well audition! If not, you should still consider it was a good way to get more financial aid, assuming you can make time for it, of course.
Concert band has been a great way for me to relax and do something besides my major. So if you play an instrument or sing, Florida Tech’s music program might be for you, whether it be a minor, a scholarship or simply a love of music.