Student conductors as well as solos and concertos to be incorporated in Tusculum University Community Band concert

GREENEVILLE – Conducting by two students and solos and concertos from two musicians will highlight an upcoming concert, focused on contemporary music, by the Tusculum University Community Band.

Jyclyn West takes the baton during one of the band’s rehearsals.

Derek Hatcher practices conducting during one of the band’s rehearsals.

The band will perform its spring concert Tuesday, May 2, at 6 p.m. at Tusculum in the Marilyn duBrisk Theatre of Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. The concert is free, but Tusculum welcomes donations to support the university’s comprehensive music program.

“We are excited to have the community on campus again to enjoy another memorable evening of music,” said Rouja Green, director of Tusculum’s Center for the Arts. “We value our connections with the community and enjoy enriching people’s lives through our excellent arts programming. This concert will further showcase the musical talent we have within our student body and the community, and we encourage people to attend.”

Dr. David Gonzalez, Tusculum’s director of bands, will conduct the band through most of the show, but he will pass the baton for two of the songs to Tusculum students who are band members. Jyclyn West, a senior, will conduct “Washington Post,” and Derek Hatcher, a freshman, will conduct “National Emblem.”

The two students are taking on this role for these two marches as part of their Conducting 310 class at Tusculum.

“I haven’t really been on stage before without my instrument, so it will give me a chance to do something else before an audience,” Hatcher said. “It is making me understand more about what makes a band function. I didn’t consider before how important a conductor is to the process. The conductor really runs the show That person cannot rely on the sound that’s coming back to him. It’s more of the conductor telling the band how to play. That person needs to take the lead to get the band to sound the right way.”

West said it will be nice to have a different twist to her last concert at Tusculum.

“It shows how much I have grown as a person and as a player,” West said. “Through this opportunity to conduct, I have learned more about the dynamics of a band and gesturing so I can hear what I want rather than just expecting players to read what’s on the page.”

In addition to the conducting by Hatcher and West, the concert will feature a flute concerto by Dr. Phil Thompson during “Concertino” and a xylophone solo during “Serenade for a Picket Fence” by Jay Oberfeitinger, both of whom will receive accompaniment from the band. The two men are adjunct music faculty members at Tusculum and members of the community band.

Here is the lineup of songs.

The community band performs during its last concert in March.

  • “River of Life” by Steve Reineke
  • “Concertino” by Cecile Chaminade
  • “Washington Post” by John Phillip Sousa
  • “Lightning Field” by John Mackey
  • “Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon” by Percy Aldridge Grainger
  • “Sea Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • “Down a Country Lane” by Aaron Copeland
  • “Serenade for a Picket Fence” by Norman Leyden
  • “National Emblem” by E.E. Bagley

“Come and relax with us as we conclude the academic year at Tusculum with a great performance by our musicians,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “They have prepared extensively for this concert and look forward to sharing their gift of music with the audience. It will be especially exciting to see Derek and Jyclyn lead the band and to witness the special skills of Jay and Phil during this concert.”

Anyone with questions can email Green at More information about the university is available at