Student Conductor Commands Orchestra


The orchestra is positioned on stage, bows ready, eyes fixed on the figure center stage. With the flick of her wrist, Sabrina Winward ques the performers.


Winward began as a teacher’s aide for Andrew Swan the orchestra teacher at Grantsville’s local schools. Soon her role changed from that of an aide to that of an intern and she was trained to teach and conduct the younger orchestra groups.


“I get to teach them pretty much like you would in a normal class,” said Winward. “I get to go through the book, Swan provides lesson plans, but I’m allowed to do otherwise, like the other day when we played “Can Can”,” said Winward.


Conductors are the catalyst for musical performance. The conductor communicates to the performers through several hand and arm gestures. These gestures serve as signals for many things, for example: putting emphasis on a specific part of the music, queuing in a different instrument, indicating how loud or soft performers should be playing, and keeping the performers in control and on beat.


Winward debuted her conducting work in front of a live audience on December 12th at the orchestra’s Christmas Concert.


“That was really cool, one of my proudest moments ever because I got to go up there and see the other side,” said Winward.


The role of a conductor is to keep the performers in time and beat. This helps the orchestra stay together while playing and get back on track.


“This last summer I was basically section leader for the violas, so I was helping teach those students specifically and I thought wait, this is so cool,” said Winward. “I get to keep learning and I get to have an impact on other students when music has been a big deal in my life, so I want to be able to create that same thing for others.”