By Jonathan Woon
Staff reporter

Ask any musician and they will tell you the key to good music comes from hours in the practice room.

Tanner Seidel, music sophomore, said that the amount of practice invested becomes evident when performing on stage.

Seidel plays trumpet in the SC Concert Band and also the South Kansas Symphony. “In every rehearsal my motivation is to reach a higher level of performance,” said Seidel. However, Seidel recalls moments when failure becomes an encouragement to quit. “Sometimes I feel like giving up and changing my major. But time after time and conflict after conflict I come back to music,” said Seidel that feels the rush of past experiences in the practice room every time he plays the trumpet on stage.

Seidel said his rehearsal schedule focuses on performing for the Kansas Music Educators Association which will take place later this month. Both ensembles that Seidel plays for will showcase their music in Wichita.

The Symphony plays at noon on Feb 24 and the Concert Band plays Feb 25. Both ensembles will play at Century II.

This is the first time in the history of Southwestern that both ensembles have been invited to perform at KMEA. This concert showcases the many talents contained within Kansas.

The relatively small sizes of both ensembles proved not to be a barrier when playing music at greater levels. “Universities have hundreds of people to pull from in order to create an ensemble worthy of KMEA. We however, do not and have still achieved this mark of excellence,” said Seidel. “I guess people on the outside would call it an underdog story, but within the music department it is being spoken more so as a beginning than an end.”

The Concert Band made it to KMEA with only one piccolo player, Kylee Kudera, psychology freshman. “It takes a lot of work and dedication as a team to get called for the KMEA,” said Kudera.

For Seidel, hard work is not the only reason that the ensembles get called to KMEA. “We have achieved this honor not only because of the hard work put in by our performers and directors but also through the support of the artistic community both locally and regionally,” he said.

Rhenda Torrence, is the principal percussionist for both ensembles. Playing for about 10 years with the ensembles, Torrence said she admits the thought of performing before music educators from all across the state is thrilling. “The members of both ensembles are really pumped for this performance. It is such an honor,” said Torrence, accounting teacher at Winfield High School.

Dr. Daniel Stevens and Dr. Jimmy Leach will conduct the Concert Band’s performance. Dr. Leach will play a trumpet solo while Dr. Stevens conducts.

Both ensembles have gone an extra mile by setting up additional rehearsals on weekends to fine tune performance. All rehearsals have been going on at Winfield High School auditorium.

Rehearsals are off campus due to the renovation of Richardson. “We had no choice. I sincerely hope that Messenger is next on the renovation check list,” said Seidel.

Jonathan Woon is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at

Edited by Inger Furholt