I was recently asked by a colleague what the best part of Dartmouth is to me. Without batting an eye, I exclaimed that it was being a part of the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. The Wind Ensemble is like being a part of a very large family – it is reminiscent of a big reunion every Monday and Wednesday rehearsal. You have all of your quirky uncles, aunts, and cousins (trombones, clarinets, percussionists). There are your sisters and brothers (those saxophones and flutes) and your dad, the conductor of the Wind Ensemble, Matthew Marsit.
However, aside from the goodhearted feeling and camaraderie, the most rewarding part is what happens the moment Mr. Marsit steps up to the podium, lifts his baton, and silence falls upon the ensemble. Immediately, instruments raise to lips or sticks poise above drums. Anticipation hangs in the air awaiting that flick of the wrist when all of a sudden a ragtag bunch of students from all walks of life, all corners of campus (and the globe) and all fields of study make beautiful music together.
It sounds cliché, but in all honesty, being a part of the Wind Ensemble is what makes my Dartmouth experience most worthwhile. In fact, it epitomizes what college should be about: students who want to learn together, participate in something collective and offer their talents to an audience. After weeks of practice each term, the ensemble sounds professional, to my ears. The students that make up this group are not only dedicated, but downright passionate. The understandable struggle of constant exams, other extracurriculars and jobs and commitments make finding time for rehearsing and practicing tough; we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t downright love it.
For me, being in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble – which is having a winter concert this Sunday, February 21 at 2 pm in Spaulding Auditorium – is one of the most rewarding learning experiences in college. Mr. Marsit challenges the ensemble with music that is both new and exciting, and classic and familiar. He instills pride in the music, the art, and ourselves.
By Mallory Rutigliano ’17
Mallory Rutigliano is a member of the class of 2017. She enjoys playing in the wind ensemble, working with microscopic worms and missing New York pizza. Mallory studies Biology, Psychology and Global Health, and is also involved in the Office of Sustainability.