Club of the Week: Orchestra Ensemble

Written by Amanda Davis, staff writer

DAYTON, Tenn.– During Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 PM in Rudd, The Bryan College Orchestra Club is making music. Bryan College students and Dayton community members in the orchestra club gather to play music from a variety of eras. Orchestra club began this semester and is open to players of any age and any experience from both Bryan College and the local Dayton community. It is a fun and welcoming environment and provides a great way for Bryan students to engage with the community and create something special. The orchestra conductor is Erin Smith, a community member of Dayton, and the staff advisor is Allyson Underwood, a financial aid specialist.

Erin Smith encourages anyone who wants to grow their skills in music to join. According to Smith, the orchestra club is a very relaxed group where people can participate regardless of previous music experience in a no-pressure environment. She says, “This is a great outlet to bond with people and to express your love of music.”

Allyson Underwood helped change the orchestra from a class to a club this semester. She thinks the engagement with the Dayton community through the club is very important, as she states, “By inviting the Dayton community to join us, we get to know community members who have similar interests, but it’s also a way for the school to minister to our community; to involve them in a way they may not in other areas.”

Laurel McLaughlin, a senior English and liberal arts double major and a music minor, has put in an incredible amount of work to make this club special. McLaughlin plays cello in the orchestra and has written and arranged various pieces played by the club. She claims that orchestra is a great way to play different genres of music in a unique setting that challenges yet excites musicians. Composing and arranging multiple pieces was a new and fun experience for McLaughlin and according to her, “It was a lot of trial and error to see what would work and what wouldn’t.”

The club is hosting a concert that takes place on November 20 in the Rudd Auditorium at 7:30 PM. The concert will showcase several pieces arranged or composed by McLaughlin, including Matins, an original composition. The concert is free of charge and available for anyone to watch. Underwood states that attending is a great way to support the fine arts and fellow students as they perform.

Amanda Davis is a freshman communications major at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City Native and loves reading, writing, and photography.