After moving to Wisconsin from New York in the spring of 2008, Charles Dieterle has made the most out of the musical opportunities here in this state. Charles has been a member of the WSMA High School State Honors Project, performed at Summerfest with his band Moon Jelly as a Launchpad finalist, and recently soloed with the Madison Symphony Orchestra having made it to the final four in the Bolz Young Artist Competition.
Before leaving Madison to attend DePaul University in pursuit of a Bachelors of Music Degree in Trombone Performance Charles took a moment to share with us some things he is taking with him from his participation in WSMA programs.
“When I was in the WSMA High School State Honors Jazz Band, the director, Lennie Foy, took time every day at rehearsal to stress the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships for later on in life, whether you will be involved in music or not. He told us to be courteous to everyone we meet and to strive for equality and fairness in everything we do. During my time at various music camps and workshops, I have met few people as influential and energetic as Professor Foy. Even late at night after an 8-hour rehearsal day, his upbeat presence always made the band swing harder. Professor Foy is just one example of the plethora of individuals that make all WSMA workshops – such as Launchpad, State Honors, and Solo/Ensemble – fantastic experiences for all students involved.
For those that are musically inclined, there is no better place to thrive than in one of these programs, where talented student musicians convene from around the state to share their passion. Additionally, these programs work very well in recruiting new students to the musical community: for those who have some interest but have not yet explored deeply into the subject, a low-cost, easily accessible venture may just be the deciding factor for them to pursue music intensively. Either way, I think the most important aspect of any of the WSMA programs I participated in was not the high level of performance achieved, but rather the general attitude of the students and adults there. These projects don’t just teach a person how to play a B-flat scale; they instill honesty, compassion, and friendship in each student that enrolls.”