OWU Music Students Sing Praises About Summer Trip to Austria

Theory-to-Practice trip provided instruction and classical exposure

An OWU Theory-to-Practice grant helped fund a trip by OWU music majors to the international Salzburg Festival in Austria in August. Photo courtesy of Lauren Spavelko ’11

Seven members of OWU’s Opera Theater traveled to Austria in August for the Salzburg Festival, an international event that featured musicians performing a wide range of classical music including operas, chamber music, and symphonies.

OWU Assistant Professor of Music Jason Hiester and his wife, Christine, who is a vocalist, accompanied the group that included Lauren Spavelko ’11, Heather Young ’11, Annie Spain ’11, Samantha Speakmon ’11, Annie Memmott ’12, Keith Tankersley ’12, and Sarah Maureen Kenny ’11.

In addition to attending daily performances, the students had lessons with vocal instructors and opera performers, and attended and performed in master classes.

“It was so amazing,” Spavelko says. “There were moments where it was so spectacular, like visiting Mozart’s birth house and residence. It’s beyond the classroom, and bigger than life!”

The Hiesters accompanied the students during their lessons and provided feedback to them following each lesson. They also picked up a few teaching techniques. “There were many pedagogical elements that I learned from observing these classes,” Jason Heister says.

No still or video cameras were permitted inside the performing venues. But Spavelko created a videotape with highlights from the trip:

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