Thursday, July 13, 2017

Amazing Staff

Makenzie Wade, Stage Services; Saralyn Klepaczyk, Orchestra Manager; Annie Swigart, Librarian

Today I want to take some time to recognize our amazing Intermediate Concert Orchestra staff.
For those of you that are teachers in public schools or of school orchestra programs, you know that we spend a great deal of time buying, organizing, and filing music, organizing our music library, setting up chairs, creating programs, and doing all kinds of other administrative work. Here at Interlochen, one of the great joys of conducting an orchestra is working with a wonderful staff of young professionals who are charged with doing all of the administrative and set up work for my orchestra.

Truly, I feel like a king each day when I am asked, "What else do you need, Mr. Laird?" These wonderful staff members truly desire to serve the orchestra and my needs as the conductor and I appreciate all of their hard work and dedication.   I have three staff members each summer. This year I have been blessed with wonderful folks every year that I've been at Interlochen. This year is certainly no exception and my staff truly stands out as exceptional.

They include Saralyn Klepaczyk, Orchestra Manager; Annie Swigart, Librarian; and Makenzie Wade, Stage Services. Each one of these young professionals serves an integral role in our orchestra's mission on a daily basis.

Saralyn, our Orchestra manager, is wonderful. She is responsible for all of the daily details of the Ensemble. She takes attendance, makes daily announcements, deals with students who need extra attention, rounds the kids up after breaks in rehearsal, and serves as a liaison between the music department and the Student Life division of the camp. Sarah essentially handles all of the nitty-gritty details of the day-to-day work of the orchestra so that I don't have to. If we need to contact a student's counselor, she takes care of it. Just this week we have been trying to find a percussionist for one of our pieces and it has been her job to take care of that. I couldn't ask for a more dedicated, sensitive and caring person to fill this role.  I have quickly learned that I can count on Saralyn to be sensitive to student needs, articulate in every way, and interested in real conversation when it comes to what is best for both students and for the ensemble.

Our librarian, Annie, is responsible for everything related to the printed music that the students are using every day. She organized all of the repertoire before camp began. She makes sure that the parts are bowed and accurate. She distributes the music at the beginning of the concert cycle and collects the music immediately following each concert. She also handles any small details regarding the music such as providing extra pages to avoid page turns and other details. Annie also is on hand and  available for just about any need throughout each rehearsal. One day last week we had a sick student and I needed her to walk with them to the camp medical office. It is so great to have her on hand during every rehearsal.  And, the printed music is always exactly as it should be!

Makenzie is a member of our Stage Services division and has been assigned to our primary rehearsal space, Grunow Hall. So, she has quickly become an integral part of the Intermediate Concert Orchestra staff. Makenzie is wonderful! She has such a wonderful disposition and is a pleasure to interact with every day. She is responsible for making sure that the ensemble chairs and stands are set up properly for each rehearsal. She's also responsible for any auxiliary instruments that we may be using including piano, percussion, or other instruments. Orchestra setup may seem like a small thing, but it is so wonderful to walk into the room each day with the right number of chairs and stands all placed beautifully in the right position. I frequently joke that 75% the orchestra directors job is moving furniture. At Interlochen, that 75% falls on Makenzie's shoulders! Makenzie is incredibly dedicated and makes sure that everything is ready to go.

These three wonderful young professionals make my job easy everyday. As a result of their work, I can truly focus on the task of teaching the students in the orchestra and making music each day. Thanks to each of these three and to Interlochen for providing such wonderful staff members for me and all of the conductors at this amazing place!

Concert tomorrow!



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