What’s in Chicago in the middle of winter? That’s right, The Midwest Clinic. The international band and orchestra conference. Because nothing says “location, location, location” like holding a conference largely reliant on metal things being held against peoples’ lips in sub-zero temperatures. Think Flick from A Christmas Story in the famous flag pole licking scene. However, despite the dangers, here are all these amazing musicians gathered at the McCormick Place in Chicago, the largest convention center in North America, for a week of performances, clinics, panels, and networking. Rewind. Did someone say huge gathering of talented musicians, networking, and a conference? Cue CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media. We go where the conferences go. So naturally, I’m on the next flight to Chicago!
The mission? Let directors and prospective college students at The Midwest Clinic know about The College of Arts and Media’s contemporary music programs. For me personally, I came from a classical background and high school program. I was fully invested in choir–CMEA, All State, the works—but I never really knew that contemporary music programs existed. I knew I didn’t want to do classical music performance as my career, so learning about CU Denver’s contemporary program was a game changer. Had I not been told about the program from a former high school friend, I would have never bothered to apply to CU Denver. Therefore, I definitely saw value in coming to The Midwest Clinic to talk to prospective college students who might be in a similar position. Of course at such a prestigious conference, we knew some people would be fully set on continuing their classical music education, however, we wanted to be there for those people who might be interested in something different.
That’s why Dave Walter, Assistant Director of Outreach and Admissions, music business student Emily Irwin, and myself spent the conference in the exhibition hall marketing CU Denver to The Midwest Clinic. We spent most of the conference in the exhibition hall tabling, however, we also went to College Night with other music programs from across the country. The exhibition hall was huge and we were able to talk to a lot of students and directors about our program. We mostly talked about the MEIS department and the various music and audio majors, however a few students we talked to were also interested in digital design and animation. By far, people were most interested in the LYNX camp because it wasn’t necessarily a commitment to our school, but an opportunity to see what CAM is like and the types of programs we offer. Overall, I think our time spent marketing CU Denver was worthwhile and more importantly, I hope some students consider coming to the LYNX camp and/or CU Denver.