The West Virginia University Wind Symphony has been selected as one of two groups to be showcased during the 2018 New York Wind Band Festival. The 50-member ensemble is comprised of mostly music majors, however one student from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources will be accompanying them to perform at the world famous venue, Carnegie Hall.
Lisa Hilgar, a fundamentals of engineering student from Kingwood, will travel to New York City for the first time to participate in a showcase performance by the WVU Wind Symphony on March 6.
Hilgar has been playing the B flat clarinet since she was in the fourth grade and has been a selected member of the WVU Wind Symphony for three semesters. Although she had a background in music, it was her love for math and science that led her to pursue a degree in engineering at WVU.
“I became interested in engineering because it uses both of my favorite subjects -- math and science -- to solve real-life problems,” said Hilgar. “While my musical background didn’t play a direct role in my decision to pursue engineering, it does help with my studies by providing me with a creative outlet that helps me think outside the box.”
Being a member of the WVU Wind Symphony requires great dedication and discipline; students are required to meet for practices three times a week in addition to practicing in their free time. Hilgar is currently working toward being accepted into the biomedical engineering major and admits that juggling her musical interests and the rigorous demands of engineering coursework can be difficult.
“I have to manage my time extremely well,” said Hilgar. “I always set aside an hour or two each day for practicing my clarinet and I usually have a schedule for what homework I need to do for the week to make sure I get everything done.”
For Hilgar, learning that she would be getting to play at Carnegie Hall made the extra effort worth it. However, making it there was no easy feat for the WVU Wind Symphony.
The ensemble had to pass a meticulous audition process that included an application, recording evaluation and repertoire review before being selected.
“It is a great honor for me to be able to play at Carnegie Hall,” said Hilgar. “The realization that I am part of a group that is making music where some of the greatest musicians of all time have played is astounding. I can’t wait to represent the University and especially the Statler College.”
For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources:
College Relations office: 304-293-4086
Office of the Dean: 304-293-4157
Other College administrative and department offices: Administration