Step into the beat of a student musician

A senior student musician shares her experience playing in Biola’s wind ensemble and orchestra.

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Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

The spring season of concerts galore has arrived, and the professors and student musicians behind these concerts spend countless hours preparing for them. Audrey Jones, senior music education major, plays the oboe and occasionally the English horn in Biola’s wind ensemble and orchestra.

Rehearsal Time

Being in the wind ensemble alone requires rehearsals three times a week, but with the addition of orchestra there is an additional two times per week. Outside of scheduled rehearsals musicians are required to practice an hour a day and an hour lesson each week.

“It’s kind of a blessing and a curse because Biola’s so small and there’s not as many musicians we’re used for everything, but we get a lot of opportunities,” Jones said. “It’s hard to balance, to not get burned out.”

Only Oboist

As Biola’s only oboist, Jones receives a call every time an event is in need of an oboe in the performance.

“Anytime anyone needs an oboist I’m the person they go to, and so it’s really great,” Jones said. “Being at Biola I have a lot of connections to churches and so I’ve played at churches before, especially holiday services.”

Although practice each week is important, one of the most important weeks is the week before a concert, which includes a dress rehearsal in Crowell Hall for three hours. On the day of the concert, the musicians cannot be late for the sound check, which happens an hour before the concert. They then break and meet in the band room to pray.

Tips to Success

With the daily practices and weekly performances, Jones has acquired several tips to success as a vital performer in the music program.  

“[Do] not obsess about being perfect in your playing, … focus on just doing your best and giving your time,” Jones said. “Time management is the biggest tip. And treating your body well because I didn’t know how taxing it was until college to play an instrument.”

Student Teaching

On top of being a music student, Jones is also in the education realm, and the two do not always fit together. After student teaching and graduating in fall 2016, Jones hopes to find a job to teach children about music.

“The education program is very separate from the music conservatory, but we do have music ed classes… that help bridge the two,” Jones said. “There’s kind of a disconnect which makes it hard sometimes because music is such a different subject to teach.”

Close Bonds

Although being a student musician can be time consuming, the relationships established through practicing together create close bonds between the members.

“Music is just very time consuming and very pressing on your body and just your energy, so it’s nice to have people support you,” Jones said.

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