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Lyon students harmonize with Arkansas Intercollegiate Band

Several Lyon students performed in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band (AIB), developing their musical talents alongside other dedicated students.

The AIB brings students of varying classes and musical experience from across Arkansas to rehearse and perform a free concert. Band members are nominated by their directors for their dedication and talent. 

Allison Mundy, Blake Huffman, Benjamin Norton, Faith Hargis, and Olivia Echols represented Lyon College this year. 

The group began on Feb. 20, performing its annual concert the next day after only hours of rehearsal. This intense schedule drives students to learn difficult compositions quickly, resembling the circumstances under which professional musicians work.

Whether or not students hope to become professional musicians after graduating, they benefit from the exposure: aspiring musicians get a glimpse into the mindframe required for success in their field, while musical hobbyists gain insight into a career they may otherwise not get the chance to experience. 

Though the environment can be intimidating, Lyon College students found the intensity to be an enjoyable aspect of the concert. Huffman, who plays trombone, appreciated the ability to play alongside upper-level musicians, including some studying music at a graduate level. 

“Everyone there is a master of their craft,” he said. 

The experience encouraged him to improve as much as he could in the time he had to work with those students.

Students also enjoyed the way AIB unites Arkansas students with a common passion. Though not all musicians who play in the intercollegiate band are music majors, they are all involved in the music programs at their respective colleges. Students got to experience how other music programs operate while partaking in a shared challenge. 

“I enjoy simply making music with so many other talented musicians,” said Mundy, who plays clarinet. Like others, she noted that Arkansas Intercollegiate Band is a great opportunity to work with more experienced players. 

AIB also allowed other Arkansans to experience Lyon College’s musical talents, as it exposed some of Lyon’s talented players to a larger audience.

Director of Bands Dr. Fredrick Brown said this type of performance fosters greater connections between Lyon’s community and Arkansas at large. 

“It’s not just an opportunity for our students to experience what’s happening outwardly, but for [others] to experience what’s happening here at Lyon.”

He hopes to continue enabling students to participate in these events.