Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!
Lauren Whisnant plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. She is a Music Teacher and lives in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Lauren is also the business manager for Northshore Concert Band.
When and why did you start playing? I started band in 7th grade, but I was originally a clarinet and later oboe player. I finally started learning horn after playing mellophone in marching band (we needed more, I couldn’t play oboe in marching band, so I volunteered!). While I still play oboe from time to time, I definitely identify as a horn player. It fits my personality perfectly!
What do you enjoy most about playing? I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from practicing something difficult & finally mastering it. I also love the camaraderie of playing in an ensemble with other people.
Do you have a favorite musical memory? It’s definitely hard to pick a single memory, but I’d have to say my first Rush concert was definitely memorable. It was incredible – those guys rock!
What are your musical influences? I’m a big classic rock fan, and two of my favorite musicians are Geddy Lee & Neil Peart from Rush. I try to see the Chicago Symphony as much as possible – they keep my ears “fresh”!
Who was your most influential music teacher? Dr. Scott Tobias, currently the Director of Bands at the University of Central Florida. He was the Associate Director of Bands at Appalachian State University when I completed by undergrad degree & taught at a summer camp I attended in high school. After one week of being in his ensemble, I knew I wanted to be a music teacher – he made it look fun! Later on he became & continues to be one of my most influential mentors.
Does anyone in your family play music? Yes, my dad sings & plays electric bass in his church’s praise & worship band.
What’s on your iPod? Right now I have a very weird collection of music from different genres that are at certain tempos to use while running. Everything is between 160 & 176 b.p.m., because those are the paces I’m working on. Everything from rock to movie soundtracks to punk to classical – it’s eclectic, but it works!
Do you have any advice for young musicians? Keep at it, and keep your mind open. My first music career goal was to be a professional oboist that would play for movie soundtracks. Now I’m a high school band director in a place I never thought I would live, and I LOVE it! Life is funny that way!
What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The level of performance is astounding, and it makes me constantly work to become a better musician. I love coming to rehearsals & being inspired by something that’s either said by Dr. Thompson or when I hear someone play a phrase in a way that was different than how I interpreted it.
List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Passionate, inspiring, awesome!
Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org
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