Students Learn Real-World Skills Performing With the Maryland Symphony Orchestra

Nov 14, 2018 12:50 PM

Frostburg State University strives to create real-world experiences where students learn by doing rather than simply reading about it. One such experiential learning effort is the recent partnership between FSU and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra (MSO) made possible through the efforts of FSU’s Cultural Event Series.

The FSU Chamber Singers and Chorale performed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Krönungsmess Mass No.15 in C Major” with MSO under the skilled leadership of conductor and musical director Elizabeth Schulze during recent concerts in Hagerstown and Frostburg.

“In class, you’re surrounded by other students. With the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, you’re surrounded by professionals that you could potentially work with someday,” said Davani Cooper, a member of the FSU Chamber Singers.

Under the direction of Scott Rieker, lecturer in the Department of Music, the students regularly perform throughout the year, but through the partnership with MSO, students perform with professionals in a work setting and gain experience of the highest caliber.

But, as Rieker explains, there’s more to gain than simply work experience.

“Half of these students are not music majors and so music will not be their career,” he said. “What they’re getting out of this is simply the experience of music. ... They’re doing something that celebrates our humanity and also builds up our community in a uniquely human way.”

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The presentation of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra was sponsored by First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union and supported by a grant from the Community Trust Foundation’s Iris and Peter Halmos Community Fund. Individual event sponsors include Mrs. Bernice A. Friedland, Ms. Janice S. Keene, Mr. Bill Mandicott and Dr. Lea Messman-Mandicott, the Honorable Mary Beth Pirolozzi, Mr. Victor S. Rezendes and Mr. John E. Minnich, Ms. Sandra K. Saville, Mr. Nicholas J. Scarpelli and Ms. Tama S. Scarpelli, and Mr. Douglas Schwab and Mrs. Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab. The Cultural Events Series is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. On the web at CES is sponsored in part by the City of Frostburg.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.