Being a part of the Rider band has by far been one of best experiences during my time at this university. MUS127 is a non-competitive concert ensemble, and there are no tryouts or section rankings. It is more just about musicians coming together to make music and have a good time. We meet twice a week, an hour each time, and get one credit for taking the class. At the end of each semester we have a concert that is free to the public.
The experience to be found at the Rider band is truly a unique one. Dr. Jerry Rife, chairperson of the Fine Arts Department, creates a fun environment that is welcoming to all musicians, regardless of age, ability or instrument played. The idea is, “Hey, you play an instrument. Come play with us and have some fun.” It is a great way for students to keep music in their lives. While you have to practice and meet twice a week, the time required is not demanding, making it easy for any student to fit band into his or her schedule.
Not only is Rider band a relaxed and fun environment, but it is also a great way to make friends. I have been in band since my first semester, and some of my closest friends are those I met through this class. The band is not typically a large one, making it more personable and inviting. You will get to know everyone there, and walk away with some new friends.
And great credit goes to Rife, the conductor. This man puts his heart into every concert, every practice and every flick of his baton. You can tell he has a passion for music, as well as a passion for keeping music alive. This in itself makes MUS127 a great experience for student musicians. In addition, he is always available as a resource for advice, practice and inspiration. Band wouldn’t be quite the experience it is without him as conductor.
Personally, I love everything about band here at Rider. For me, it’s a motivating and fun experience, and a way for me to escape from my stresses for a couple of hours a week. No matter how chaotic my day may be, band offers me a sort of bubble away from it all. Just sitting down with other musicians and a conductor who is truly passionate is always relaxing.
I would strongly urge anyone who has ever played an instrument to give band a chance next semester. You can be any year, or major, as long as you have a desire to play; even if you haven’t played in years. We work with anyone who is interested. Keeping music alive is our goal, and we can’t do it without you.
Senior advertising and marketing major
Printed in the 10/9/13 edition.