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K-State Today

June 20, 2017

Wildcats attend Conn-Selmer Institute

Submitted by Wes Lewis

Kansas State University was represented at the recent the Conn-Selmer Institute by director of bands, Frank Tracz, and 10 music education students. The conference was June 11-14 on the campus of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Established in 1997, the Conn-Selmer Institute is an event focused on instructing and guiding current and future instrumental educators and music professionals. Sessions at the institute focus on teaching methods, recruitment techniques, retention, student engagement and motivation.

Students who attended the institute include Jessica Brummel, Brett Butler, Bailey Eisenbraun, Sara Gift, Madison Hines, Wes Lewis, Alex Meek, Kodi Shouse, Preston Thomas and Trace Woods.

At the three-day event, the students were given practical information to take into the music classroom, skills to develop as future teachers, and strategies to implement with their own students. They also had the chance to take part in inspiring, motivational, and touching lectures by world-class clinicians and educators. After a day of clinic/workshop sessions, the students were treated to concerts by performing artists such as Canadian Brass and the Truth In Jazz Big Band. These concerts were both motivational and entertaining.

In addition to the clinics and workshops, Conn-Selmer allowed the students to tour their instrument manufacturing facilities and see firsthand the amount of pride that the employees have in their product. Skill, craftsmanship, and precision were on display. All of the students involved commented on the eye-opening nature of this tour.

Tracz was among the instructing faculty and lecturers at this year's 20th-anniversary conference. He presented nine clinics during the week, geared toward improving organization and instruction in the instrumental music classroom. Tracz has been a part of the Conn-Selmer Institute for the past eight years and he continues to guide music education at K-State and across the globe.