Student Finds Niche for Conducting
Since transferring to Otterbein two years ago, Michael Ferrara ’13, a piano major and philosophy minor, has been working extensively on his conducting skills. He was recently invited to make his conducting debut at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palm City, Florida, where he frequently performed while growing up. Ferrara conducted the church’s festival choir in Gabriel Faure’s Requiem in D Minor.
“My passion for music is fueled by my deep intellectual and emotional connection to art itself,” Ferrara said. “I find musical outlets through conducting, playing piano and trumpet, as well as singing.”
Ferrara said he truly discovered music in fourth grade, and since then, playing the piano and trumpet have been staples in his life. He said he found his niche in conducting after being chosen as the student conductor for the district and state assessments in eighth grade. “Ever since, I have been involved in music directing and conducting,” he said. “I plan on attending graduate school for orchestral or musical theatre direction.”
At Otterbein, Ferrara has studied conducting with music professors Dr. Gayle Walker, Dr. Margaret Underwood and Dr. Jim Bates, with whom he studied independently for a year.
“(Dr. Bates and I) have had the chance to delve deeply into the scores and the music we’ve decided to work on,” Ferrara said. “Most recently, we have been working towards my preparedness for the Conductor’s Institute this summer at Bard College (June 25-August 3), an experience I have no doubt will greatly aid in my professional development, as well as entrance into graduate programs.”
Click here to learn more about Otterbein’s music program.