Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Orchestra Welcomes New Director

After the retirement of Dr. Daniel Culver last year, Augustana College will welcome its new orchestra director, Dr. Daniel Chetel.
Dr. Chetel completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University before moving onto The University of Maryland and The University of Kentucky for his graduate degrees. While studying at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Chetel was able to work with a number of orchestras, and even an opera company.
Chetel says that he is “very excited to be making music in a liberal arts setting” because he feels that the liberal arts help “develop an understanding of musical culture and passion that can be found in anyone.”
It’s not just Chetel that’s excited to be here. Sophomore orchestra member, Joshua Iyer, says that students are taking well to Chetel’s “energetic and focused rehearsals.” He also notes that students are having fun playing new styles of music.
“(The repertoire) is more colorful and diverse than the academic music played last year,” says Iyer.
Chetel is having a great time getting to know the new students and their personalities,
“New students bring new experiences since music making is largely personal,” says Chetel.
From a young age, Chetel knew that he wanted to make a life out of music. He says he grew up in a house where there was always a lot of classical music, and often times, he would put together ensembles and performances that became challenging enough to the point where he needed to step in and conduct. It was in conducting that he felt he really knew what he wanted to do.
For students interested in pursuing a career in music, Chetel advises students to “be a sponge,” or to take in all the music around them. In this day and age, music is everywhere, good or bad. It has never been easier than it is right now to listen to music. Dr Chetel says not only to listen, but to listen actively.
He remembers a director he had in college that told him that “part of the process of learning music is to get to the point where every piece of music reminds you of another piece of music.”
The orchestras first concert of the year will be Saturday, October 15th in Centennial Hall at 8:00. The concert follows the theme of “perspective on the Americas,” as the world of American composers are featured.
Iyer describes the concert repertoire as “fun with challenging but stimulating passages.”

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Augustana Orchestra Welcomes New Director