From Carthage Student to Conductor: A Musical Journey with Madeline Weirick ‘14
Haley Aichholzer ’21
The Lakeside Band Festival began in 2002, with the aim of giving the region’s exceptional young instrumentalists the opportunity to interact with the country’s top performers and composers. This year will mark the 17th annual Festival! The event will be held on Saturday, February 29 at 7 p.m. in the A. F. Siebert Chapel. As part of the performance, distinguished artists and composers are featured in the event. Madeline Weirick ’14 will serve as the featured guest conductor for the Wind Orchestra. Madeline is the band director at Trevor-Wilmot School, and one of the music educators being recognized this year as part of the 150 Years of Carthage Women Celebration. I was lucky enough to ask Madeline a few questions about her experiences as a Carthage student, her role in the upcoming performance, and the journey she has taken as a musician.
How does it feel being recognized as an educator as part of the 150 Years of Carthage Women Celebration? What does this celebration mean to you?
I feel so proud! It is such an honor to be recognized alongside the many other women who have had positive impact at Carthage and beyond.
You are coming back to Carthage as a guest conductor to the Wind Orchestra. A few years ago, you were here as a student. What are you excited about coming back to this new role? What do you think will be different? What may be the same?
I spent all four of my years at Carthage as a member of the Carthage Wind Orchestra and have had so many positive memories as a performer in this group- I think being back will feel like coming back home. However, this will be my first time ever conducting the group which will be a different, exciting change!
What have your experiences been as the Trevor-Wilmot band director? How have these experiences shaped you as a musician?
I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences as the Trevor-Wilmot band director: amazing students, great performances, a trip to Nashville, conducting the 650+ band members at the Wilmot Area Band Festival, and many more. These experiences have shaped me as a musician by making me take charge of each piece of music and help guide the young musicians towards understanding the song. You have to know where the music is going in order to lead them to understanding of the music themselves.
How did your time at Carthage prepare/support your career as a band director and conductor?
There are many things about my time at Carthage that helped prepare and support me to become a band director. Being heavily involved in many organizations within the Carthage music department helped me greatly with confidence in my abilities and gave me the knowledge I needed to be successful. However I think the biggest support for me was the relationships I built with my peers and professors. At Carthage I felt like I belonged and felt like I was an important member of the music community which really helped me in my pursuit to become a band director.
What advice would you give to music students who are graduating this spring?
The advice I would give to future music graduates is to search and apply for whatever job is available in your field, even if it isn’t your dream job. The experience you will gain from your first job will help you to get your foot in the door, make connections, and will give you the proof that you need to show that you are ready for whatever will come next.