Give Now

Indiana University’s All-Campus Orchestra Tackles Music Fit For Professionals

This semester was something special for a group of musicians at Indiana University. They were challenged in ways that they never had been before, playing music that many thought was way beyond their ability level, and finally coming together as a cohesive performing ensemble.

Would you be surprised if I told you that these musicians were actually business and biology majors? Well, it’s true! The All-Campus Orchestra is comprised of students from all walks of life at IU who just love to play. Typically, groups like this play easy bits of classical music or arrangements of pop tunes. But not the case this semester! Under the direction of Ben Bolter, the All-Campus Orchestra is being stretched to play music of Vivaldi, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky.

I met up with Ben to talk music, conducting, and to ask the question so many people are asking… Can you pull this off?

Ben is a passionate musician, and he seems to thrive on challenging situations. His enthusiasm has spread to the musicians in the orchestra, as he raves about their work ethic and desire to create a high-quality musical product.

I decided to pay Ben and the All-Campus Orchestra a visit during one of their Monday evening rehearsals. I found an empty chair next to Ella Hartley in the back of the cello section. Her major? Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Arabic. Oh, and she’s a Religious Studies minor, too. She’s been playing cello for about 11 years, and as we were chatting DURING rehearsal (…sorry Ben…) she told me that she loves how playing takes the stress away from school.

While Ben spends most of his time conducting classical music, he has a wide range of musical interests. “There’s a genre for everyone,” he said. He went on to say how he values music’s power to transform or accentuate your mood. “And now these people get to take it a step forward and have a hand in creating it,” he said about his young orchestra members.

Ben Bolter studied oboe at the New England Conservatory before coming to IU to get his masters in Instrumental Conducting. He now serves as an adjunct lecturer at the Jacobs School of Music. The All-Campus Orchestra did recently perform this ambitious program, and from all accounts, it was wildly successful.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Santa’s Playlist

feat of st nick

Here's a sampling from an array of early music recordings – new and old, from performers like the Tallis Scholars, Boston Camerata, The Sixteen, and more.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »