Roger Kalia is the newly appointed conductor and music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, Indiana.
Kalia began his musical career as a trumpet player. "I was in music education, and really always wanted to be a band conductor. In fact, my first conducting was of a band. It was just great. But as I came to know more, and to sample the riches of the orchestral repertoire, my ideas grew also."
IU's School Of Music: Just What A Conductor Needs
Kalia came to Bloomington, Indiana to further his education. "I'm a doctoral candidate in conducting at the IU School of Music. It's a great place for conducting students because there is so much activity that there are a lot of opportunities. I've had chances to conduct, to assistant conduct and even to teach a bit in the area."
There was some initial tension around his audition for the Columbus Symphony. "Whenever you face an orchestra for the first time, it can be scary. But, really from the first moments, things just clicked. The Columbus Symphony is a volunteer community orchestra. Everyone who's there is there because they want to be. It's a very friendly group. The best word that I can use to describe the atmosphere is ‘camaraderie.'"
Things Are Clicking, But They Could Use More Clicks
"This summer I had the chance to study at the Aspen Music Festival with some great teachers," Kalia continues. "I'm looking forward to bringing some of the things that I learned to my studies at IU and to conducting in Columbus. Right now the orchestra is getting tighter and more accomplished. What we need most is more players; we're inviting interested musicians in all areas to join us for Tuesday evening rehearsals."
A Nice American Mix
The Columbus Symphony Orchestra's first fall concert, at Columbus North High School on Sunday October 10th at 3:30, is titled A Sampling of Americana. "We've picked the Candide overture by Leonard Bernstein, dance episodes from Rodeo by Aaron Copland, and the American-inspired New World Symphony by Antonin Dvorak. I think it makes a nice mix. "