Thursday, March 28, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. R. Tad Greig, Westminster College associate professor of music, director of instrumental activities and chair of the department, was a guest conductor for the District Five Junior High and Ninth Grade Band Festival March 26 at Beaver Area High School.
This was the first year ninth-grade musicians had their own ensemble. In the past the ensemble had students from grades seven through nine all in the group.
"I felt this was a great idea. This allowed me to challenge the ninth-grade students a little more regarding the difficulty of the repertoire they were to perform, while allowing the seventh- and eighth-grade student musicians to work with music more suited for them," Greig said. "In addition, the eighth-grade students had the opportunity to provide musical and leadership models for the seventh-grade students. I love working with this age group. There is nothing more rewarding than watching the lights go on as a concept is grappled with and then eventually mastered."
"It is so important that we understand that we are not only teaching music to young people, but are producing the next generation of musical and arts advocates," Greig said. "Music and arts programs are under attack in the public schools and colleges in our state and around the country. It is imperative that we constantly remind our governmental legislators and institutional administrators of the outcomes that the arts create and enhance in life."
The performance was co-hosted by Westminster College alumnus J.P. Scanga, director of bands at Beaver High School, and Mark Rogers, director of bands at Moniteau High School.
Greig flew to Brooklyn, N.Y., during the first week of March to work with the Brooklyn Wind Ensemble as they prepared to audition for a performance opportunity at the Mid-West International Instrumental Conference in Chicago. The Brooklyn Wind Ensemble is an ensemble formed from professional instrumentalists from the metropolitan New York area.
While in Brooklyn, Greig also worked with music students in the Brooklyn School District by attending various school band rehearsals and providing support and motivation for the students to continue in the pursuit of the arts.
"I enjoy the opportunities that I have to work with adults who have a great mastery of their instruments and music. At the same time, I feel that it is my duty to be a constant advocate for music in schools and those students who are developing their craft and appreciation for it," Greig said. "As musicians of any age, there is always something we can do better, and I am so happy I have the opportunity to share music with people of all ages."
Greig has been an active guest conductor and lecturer throughout the eastern United States. At Westminster, Greig has developed the Titan Marching Band and Symphonic Band and established the Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble. The Wind Ensemble has earned the honor three times of being a guest performance ensemble, selected through audition, at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) state conference.
Greig, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1995, earned an undergraduate degree from Grove City College, master's degree from Youngstown State University, and Ph.D. from Kent State University.
Contact Greig at (724) 946-7279 or email for additional information.