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New band director takes on big role as she pushes forward with bands
Hill Music Building, the home of Birmingham-Southern’s music department, gained a new member of its faculty this year as Ginger Zingara took over as Director of Bands. Zingara directed the marching band this past fall and created a new half-time show performance. She also put on the first winter concert in the fall semester and is in the midst of working on a concert for the spring, too.
“I really love the students," Zingara said. "They’re very dedicated, very intelligent, and have a very positive attitude about everything.” She said these students were crucial in helping her overcome her biggest challenge with coming to the school: the liberal arts component. “I grew up in state schools and [only] taught at state schools," Zingara said. "So this was my first experience with liberal arts."
While adding the liberal arts component to her teaching was an adjustment, Zingara feels that she has found her place here at BSC and hopes to keep improving the school’s music programs. “[My] major goal is to recruit kids and be able to play all types of music,” Zingara said. “[I want to] increase numbers, increase abilities, go off campus more often, and get our name out there.”
Also, with such a wide appreciation for music, Zingara feels that any performance that she works on is enjoyable. Though Zingara often uses Herbie Hancock pieces with the jazz band, she has directed numerous romantic era pieces by Franz Schubert or Tchaikovsky with the Red Mountain Orchestra, a group that also rehearses on BSC's campus. “I love the marching stuff, [and] I love presenting concerts with the symphonic and jazz band. It's all good,” Zingara said. "It's like picking a [favorite] child."
Even though Zingara is working with a small band, she continues to push the envelope of what a band concert should look like. The symphonic band is currently working on its next concert, which will be preformed on May 1st in the Hill Amphitheater. The concert will feature a presentation of music from around the world, accompanied by pictures from the music’s home country. In addition, there will also be food trucks from the featured countries and a special performance of world instruments by a local musician. "I'm really looking forward to that," Zingara said. "It should bring in all types of people and all types of food.”
You can support the band in the Hill Amphitheater on May 1st for its world music spotlight, see the jazz band's performance at the Norton fountain on May 10th, and find them on Facebook to keep up year round.