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Monroe Middle students perform in band clinic with Wingate University

The Monroe Middle School seventh- and eight-grade band perform with Wingate University students at the Batte Center of Wingate University.

Monroe Middle School students had the opportunity recently to get some first-hand knowledge about college life at Wingate University, while learning music.

The Monroe Middle School seventh- and eight-grade band recently participated in a side-by-side band clinic and the “Preparing for College” seminar at the Batte Center of Wingate University as part of a newly formed partnership between the Wingate University Music Department and the Monroe Middle School Visual and Performing Arts Learning Community.

The clinic provided Monroe Middle band students with the opportunity to perform alongside Wingate University music majors and work with Dr. Dawn Perry, Director of Bands at Wingate University, on select musical works the group will be performing at the upcoming South Central Bandmaster’s Association MPA Festival on March 14th.

“Students benefited tremendously from the feedback Dr. Perry and her students provided, and also gained tremendous experience performing onstage at the Batte Center,” said Craig Retzlaff, director of bands at Monroe Middle School.

After the hour-long clinic, Monroe students took a brief walking tour of the Wingate campus and attended a seminar on “Preparing for College,” given by Erin Lester, admissions counselor for the Wingate Music Department. Students received an “insider’s view” of the entire application process and what admissions officers look for in potential students such as test scores, grades, extracurricular activities, etc.

Ms. Lester and two current Wingate students discussed what the typical life of a college student was during a question- and answer-session. “The Monroe students appreciated the information that was presented and benefited both musically and academically from this experience,” Retzlaff said.

The Wingate University Music Department and the Monroe Middle School band program is also in the process of establishing a Mentor Program between both programs that matches select middle school band students with current Wingate music majors.

Wingate students will be able to work with middle school students in the private- and group-lesson settings and gain practical experience from a teaching perspective. “Dr. Perry and I were extremely proud of the Monroe Middle students and the success of the side-by-side clinic,” Retzlaff said.

Written by: Craig Retzlaff, director of bands at Monroe Middle School.
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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