The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Student conductors hope to impress this weekend

This Friday, the Meadows School of the Arts presents its annual Meadows Symphony Orchestra, organized and conducted by two of the school’s masters students.

The show, which will have two performances throughout the weekend, features the works of two distinguished Meadows students, Doug Stone and Michelle Maril. The two are taught and mentored by professor Paul Phillips.

Phillips, once a conductor himself, recognizes and understands the hard work that his two students have put into the show.

“Both of these student conductors are very talented,” Phillips said. “They wouldn’t be in the position that they are in if it wasn’t for their extreme dedication to conducting.”

The duo of student conductors have already completed their undergraduate degrees and are using opportunities like this one to broaden their conducting skills.

“To be a conductor, the students have to at least be a master in one instrument or more,” said Phillips.

“Although, they usually come out of college knowing a good amount of information about a lot of instruments,” he said.

Both Stone and Maril partake in a weekly lesson from Phillips himself. Even though both are very knowledgeable in regards to their undergraduate degrees, Phillips claims that learning the proper way to conduct can take a lifetime.

“I always say that conducting is an old man’s profession,” Phillips said. “Learning to conduct is a very slow process. The field itself is an unbelievably challenging profession.”

Phillips even goes to equate the process of conducting to the realms of the sporting world.

“Conducting combines the same amount of dedication that a professional athlete has for sports, but demands the leadership abilities of a coach,” Phillips said. “Honestly, the only people I can compare conductors to are professional athletes.”

Although his claims may be robust, Phillips was once a student conductor, and knows all too well the struggles that both Stone and Maril are facing.

“I started conducting when I was 18,” said Phillips. “It was very challenging but at the same time extremely fun.”

The Meadow Symphony Orchestra consists of Meadow students ranging from 18 to 30 years old. While some performers are just freshmen, other parts of the orchestra are in the elite “Performer’s Program.”

“I’d have to say that the age difference is somewhat noticeable,” said Phillips. “Although, this opportunity is a great experience for some of the younger performers.”

The night’s songs include some fairly challenging pieces, including Beethoven’s 1st and an overture by Vanity.

“The choice of music is very challenging and somewhat varied,” said Phillips. “Although, overall, the audience can expect something that is wonderfully played and very interesting to listen to.”

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra has two performances planned. The first is this Friday at 8 p.m., and the second performance is this Sunday at 3 p.m..

Tickets are $13 for adults and $7 for students, faculty, and staff.

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