Music student wins conducting competition

    May 12, 2014

    Wang and GehrenbeckUW-Whitewater's Josh Wang, left, and Associate Professor Robert Gehrenbeck in the Music Department after a Chamber Singers rehearsal on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

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    Josh Wang says his musical inspirations are everywhere.

    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior from Bristol has been practicing music for 15 years. His parents, both pastors, hold undergraduate degrees in music. Wang plays the piano and organ, directs children's music at First English Lutheran Church in Whitewater, and performs regularly at events in the community.

    So, when he competed in the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Student Conducting Competition in Waukesha, Josh had a lot of experiences from which to draw.

    For the competition, Wang conducted the Waukesha West High School concert choir with two preselected pieces. A panel of judges -- conductors from several Wisconsin colleges and universities -- evaluated Wang and other competitors on 16 categories, including conducting technique, rehearsal strategies, and interaction and communication with the ensemble.

    Wang received favorable comments and was declared the winner.

    Robert Gehrenbeck, director of choral activities and associate professor of music, nominated Wang.

    "He's a very gifted conductor and it's gratifying to have a UW-Whitewater student selected as the winner," he said.

    Gehrenbeck met him when Wang attended a choir camp at UW-Whitewater in 2007.

    Wang plans to pursue a master's degree in piano performance and aspires to play professionally and teach at the college level.

    -- Written by Alyssa Langer, Photo by Craig Schreiner

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