WMWE: Meet a Member

6486_10200709727657480_1487410677_n          Hi, I’d like to introduce myself to the WMWE webpage.

I’m Megan Haney-Claus from Charlottesville, VA, and I am a sophomore at William and Mary. At the moment, I am firmly undecided about my future major, but I’m sure that I will wait until the very last possible day to declare. I’ve been playing the clarinet for about 9 years, and out of all the groups I’ve played in, this one has been my favorite.

I decided to audition for the Wind Ensemble my freshman year because, to be perfectly honest, I was looking for friends. Of course, music had become a huge part of my life and I wanted to keep my musical proficiency, but I was also looking for a great group of people to hang out with. I didn’t want to rely on my hallmates for companionship, and I didn’t really see myself fitting into a social sorority (although there are some band members who are also greek!), so I wanted to find myself a different niche. In high school there was always some kind of special bond with fellow band members, and I was hoping that college would be similar. Well, guess what? It’s not just similar. It’s BETTER. I didn’t just find a group of kids to create music with- I found a team to play sports with, dates to go to dinner with, friends to hang out with on a Saturday night, and a family to grow with. The band gave me opportunities to befriend upperclassmen right away, meet freshman from a different parts of campus, and to get to know people with very different majors and interests. I also learned more from Dr. Bhasin in the past year than I probably learned in all of high school, and I played music that challenged me with people who inspired me.

This year is going to be really exciting- it’s our 85th anniversary, we will get to play with the U.S. Air Force Band, professionally record a bunch of our repertoire, go on tour, and have lots of fun times.  Each year allows for plenty of new members and new sound, so I can’t wait to hear what this years group brings to the stage!

The WMWE Student Org: A Spotlight on Sports

One of my favorite things about the W&M Wind Ensemble is how much time WMWE members spend with each other. I’m not just talking about the hours we spend in rehearsals or concerts either- as a student organization as well as a curricular class, we also spend a lot of time eating, socializing, and playing sports together. I know that jock-y band geeks sound strange, but WMWE members often use sports as a way to have fun and bond outside of rehearsal. Casual post-rehearsal games of frisbee and high energy intramural sports games are two of my favorite times to hang out with my WMWE family. The best part is that actual talent level doesn’t matter; with the Wind Ensemble, I have played hockey, football, softball, and numerous other sports that a) I don’t actually know how to play, or b) have just been really bad at. The whole point is to have fun while spending time with great people- and sometimes, we even win!

WMWE Intramural Floor Hockey Champions, fall 2012
WMWE Intramural Floor Hockey Champions, fall 2012

WMWE: A Student Perspective

My name is Lucy King and I am a rising junior at the College. I’ve played the trombone for about 12 years now, and this will be my third year in the Wind Ensemble. I’m a marketing major with a concentration in organizational management and leadership, and I plan on pursuing a career in marketing or business management. However, I am also a music minor, because music is my passion. In the Wind Ensemble, this passion is fostered, and has defined my experience thus far at William & Mary.

When I came to the College, I was not going to continue with music. I had been thoroughly involved in my trombone playing in high school, and I thought I wanted to do something new. But when a friend from high school, who was then a junior at the College, convinced me to give music a chance, I auditioned for the Wind Ensemble (at that time called the Wind Symphony), and everything changed. Since my freshman year, I have been a part of seven different musical ensembles, and have become actively involved in the music community at William & Mary. From the moment I sat down in the first rehearsal, I became a part of the Wind Ensemble family. With this family, I ate dinner, won intramural championships, and traveled to Miami and New York City. With this family, I created beautiful music, and developed my personal technique and tone. With this family, I found my place at William & Mary. I have had so many amazing experiences with the Wind Ensemble over the past two years. I am looking forward to having many more in the years to come!