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      MTU hosts famous conductor

      Michigan Tech's Concert Choir and Superior Wind Symphony hosted well-known conductor Eric Whitacre Friday night at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.Eric Whitacre began his career singing in his college choir and then went on to become a respected composer, lecturer and conductor. He has composed music for films as well as his own that includes half choral, half orchestral album."This is a tremendous experience. He's one of the world TMs most popular known contemporary composers and conductors, and to bring him here to Houghton, Michigan for the schools, we don't get opportunities like that very often," said Erick Enz, Director of Bands.His unique musical talents showcase techniques such as using thunder sheets and trash cans to create unconventional sounds that make him stand out from other genres.The band had a very interesting way of bringing Whitacre to their campus."It actually started as one of Eric's Twitter posts where he was looking for a group to commission a transcription he was working on, and my students forwarded that on to me and we jumped on it," Enz said.The band is made up of engineers, forestry, chemistry and biology majors. Many of these students are not looking to further their careers in music, but they still enjoy music and view it as a passion.Honor high school students were also chosen to be a part of tonight's performance. It was a very exciting event for those who got to perform with such a renowned composer.Studies have shown that music can have a positive effect on your mood and emotions, and with this band's long history, they're looking to keep it that way. The bands have been around since the early 1920s starting with the ROTC Band and the Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band.With the dedication and hard work these performers put into every practice, they're ready to show their skills.