By Lea Killian
Despite the challenges CU faculty, staff and students have faced due to COVID-19, Cameron’s new Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Lucas Kaspar, hopes to bring more student involvement to the CU Concert Band Ensemble.
This semester, the Music Department welcomed Kaspar as a Band Director and Low Brass Instructor.
Prior to accepting his position, Kaspar taught low brass, the jazz ensemble and pep band as an adjunct professor at Muskingum University in Ohio, the same institution he received his Bachelor’s Degree.
He also taught in public schools for 6 years, including elementary and middle school band. Upon acquiring his Bachelor’s Degree, he went on to receive his Master’s degree from the University of Alabama and his Doctorate degree from Ohio State University.
While Kaspar’s hope is to see more student involvement in the Concert Band ensemble, his primary concern is the safety of his students.
“We are social distancing in small groups during rehearsals to make everyone comfortable,” Kaspar said. “We’re only rehearsing as a full band for about 35 minutes a week. The rest of the time is separate.”
Future performances will be held in outdoor spaces in order to simultaneously facilitate larger crowds and maintain proper social distancing guidelines.
These challenges, however, have not halted Kaspar’s enthusiasm for future concerts.
“The concert that I plan to do in the Fall is going to be a combination of chamber music,” Kaspar said. “We’ll have music for brass and percussion, and woodwinds will get their own music, as well. Then, of course, we’ll have some full band pieces.”
Alongside the rest of CU’s faculty and staff, Kaspar is optimistic about the remainder of the semester.
“I am looking forward to seeing the growth of the ensemble throughout the semester,” Kaspar said. “I’ve noticed very quickly that the students here have a lot of energy, and there is this really great attitude in the ensemble right now, which is not always typical — especially when students see a new director coming in. But it’s been really great, and I’m looking forward to seeing the growth that we can have as a group this semester and overcoming some of these challenges that we’re facing. I know the ensemble is up to the task.”