Mason band’s reputation attracts Ohio State Wind Symphony to perform.
On March 8, one of the state’s most elite bands performed a preview of their performance scheduled for The American Bandmasters Association Convention in Lexington, Kentucky. The Ohio State University Wind Symphony agreed to visit Mason High School to perform for an audience of staff and band members after school in the auditorium. Russel C. Mikkelson, the band’s conductor, said the band was eager to perform for the high school students.
“Mason has a terrific reputation for music,” Mikkelson said. “I heard the Mason Wind (Symphony) at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago this past December, and their reputation proceeds them. There’s definitely a hope that with our performance in front of them, they will be encouraged to continue creating that great sound.”
Mikkelson also said the performance offered an opportunity to build a connection with students for potential recruitment opportunities in the future.
“We took the opportunity to make Ohio State a possibility for anyone who is looking to go into a music school,” Mikkelson said. “We’ve had incredible success with Mason alumni before and intend to continue that trend.”
Current band member Sophia Henn, a freshman flute player, said Rowada had a big influence on many members of the band. She said seeing someone from Mason on the stage made the experience more impactful.
“It means we can be there one day,” Henn said. “With a band that’s a big deal, you’re kind of intimidated, because you could tell they were playing with a lot of passion, and they were very organized, so it meant a lot.”
After the final song finished, the Buckeye band received a standing ovation in the auditorium. Afterwards, spectators and performers were able to discuss the successes of the preview. Mikkelson said the performance was a great way for the members of the OSU Wind Symphony to be seen by familiar faces who have appreciation for their music.
“We’re always grateful to perform for such an appreciative audience,” Mikkelson said. “It has an effect both ways; the audience can enjoy what we put our hard work into, and we’re able to get that experience of playing for people who we know are enjoying our efforts. We always try to inspire who we play for, but there’s a higher chance of that inspiration with high school students.”