Westminster College Music Education Majors Receive Drinko Research Grants, Attend Music Clinic

Monday, January 14, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Seven Westminster College music education majors received undergraduate research grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning to attend the 66th Annual Midwest Clinic Dec. 19-22 in Chicago.

The conference included a variety of activities and presentations, including an exhibit hall with music vendors from across the nation; concerts by elementary, middle school, high school and college groups; and over 80 clinics featuring presentations by experts in the field and ranging in topics from teaching music to a special needs child to available technology for an instrumental music educator.

"Being that this was the first time attending the conference myself, I had little idea of what to expect. My expectations were totally exceeded," said Kyle Grabigel, a junior education major. "I learned so much and it was a life changing experience to see our heroes in the field in person and to hear them talk about their love for music. The clinics provided us with a lot of great information on almost any topic one was interested in. The Midwest Clinic was truly an amazing experience."

The conference also included "High School Day." Local high school students interested in studying music in college attended the conference for a day and were mentored by college students. Westminster College students teamed up with Ithaca College to mentor these students and prepare them for the college experience as music education majors.

"We explained our lives as collegiate music majors and what we do. It was an enriching experience for everyone," said Jerianne Larson, a senior music education major. "The conference was absolutely fantastic and was everything I wanted it to be. I learned so much and can't wait to go back."

Dr. R. Tad Greig, associate professor of music and chair of the department, noted what a special opportunity it is for Westminster students to have been able to participate in this particular conference.

"This is the largest instrumental conference in the world, bringing in over 20,000 musicians, educators students and vendors.  Our students not only had the opportunity to hear some of the finest bands and orchestras from around the world and to attend clinics on myriad of topics and research, but also had the opportunity to share their interests as mentors to younger students who were also in attendance. It is my belief that all instrumental students should experience this conference as young people so that they are aware of one of the finest opportunities for growth and development that we have in the field."

Westminster College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and enjoys a professional affiliation with the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM). Westminster College seeks to provide professional training to talented students who pursue careers as performers, teachers, church musicians, and scholars. Westminster College offers a broad program in music, open to majors and non-majors alike. The choral and instrumental programs include 350-400 students from all areas of the campus.

Contact Greig at (724) 946-7279 or email for additional information. 

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences. 

Visit www.westminster.edu/drinko for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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