MCHS, Ball State musicians share stage at Sursa Hall

<p>The Muncie Central Wind Ensemble Performs "Chester Overture for Band" April 8, 2019, at Ball State's Sursa Hall . <strong>Mary Stempky, DN</strong></p>

The Muncie Central Wind Ensemble Performs "Chester Overture for Band" April 8, 2019, at Ball State's Sursa Hall . Mary Stempky, DN

Editor's Note: This story is part of The Partnership Project, a series of content written in an effort by The Daily News to follow the formal collaboration of Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools. In a previous version of this article, it was reported that Muncie Central Wind Ensemble and the Ball State Symphony Band played  William Schuman's "Chester Overture for Band" together. The story has since been updated to accurately report that Malcolm Arnold's "Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo" was played.  

While two students — a high school senior and a college freshman — may play in the same concert, they come from different backgrounds. 

Sam Baule, a senior at Muncie Central High School, and Dillon Reese, freshman music education major at Ball State, both performed at the joint concert of Ball State Symphony Band and the Muncie Central Wind Ensemble March 8 at Sursa Performance Hall. 

“I didn’t get to perform with a collegiate ensemble as a high school student, which I really wish I would’ve been able to do it,” Reese said.

Sam Baule gets ready to preform at the Muncie Central Wind Ensemble and Ball State Symphony Orchestra joint concert April 8, 2019, at Ball State's Sursa Hall. Jacob Musselman, DN

Reese said his experience moving from high school to a college band was a big jump that can be hard for some students. The joint concert was something he felt would show high school band students what a live performance would sound like once they are in college.

“It’s awesome; it’s an amazing auditorium. It’s something completely different than at [Muncie] Central,” Baule said about playing at Sursa Hall.

While Baule wasn’t on stage with college players during the song “Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo,” it was by his own choice.

“I let Omar do it. He's our principal player for the saxophone section,” he said.

In an orchestra, the principal player is the lead player in each respective section. At the joint concert, Baule was a part of the four-person-alto-saxophone section.

Reese was in a five-student trombone section and was not the principal player in his section either.

The Muncie Central Wind Ensemble practices before the joint concert with the Ball State Wind Ensemble April 8, 2019, at Ball State's Sursa Hall. Jacob Musselman, DN

Muncie Central Band Director John Clark described Baule as a player who was “always willing, always on time.” 

Sam has grown to be “a good athlete and grown in leadership skills,” Clark said. Sam encourages students “to be the absolute best they can be.”

“Perseverance” is how Baule keeps his busy schedule together, Clark said. Baule’s mom, Kathy Baule, had a different answer. 

“It’s all time management. He does a fantastic job of that,” she said.

Sam Baule wasn’t the only player to receive praise from his director. Caroline Hand, assistant director of bands at Ball State, described Reese as “a strong trombone player” and said she was “excited to watch his growth in the program.”

A strong instrumentalist is someone who is committed to spending time every day to practice their art, Hand said.

“It can be really easy, in anything you do; to give up when the going gets tough and lose confidence when people are giving you tips on how to improve,” she said.

Caroline Hand, introduces the Muncie Symphony Orchestra at the joint concert with the Muncie Community Wind Ensemble April 8, 2019, in Ball State's Sursa Hall. Mary Stempky, DN

Hand added that people who take criticism well and grow from it are people who find success in their lives. 

Hand said she has attended Muncie Central High School band rehearsals and has worked with the groups at Muncie Southside High School.

“I was like ‘these guys need a chance to play in our beautiful hall at Sursa,’” Kathy Baule said. 

Both band directors said they want to continue to have these programs in the future. This leaves possibilities for students like Baule and Reese to share the stage.

Contact Charles Melton with comments at or on Twitter @Cmelton144. Contact Jacob Musselman with comments at or on Twitter @jhmusselman.


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