Mikael Mulugeta, Office of Strategic Communication, 319-384-0052
A bow and a bow
A bow and a bow
A bow and a bow
When Dalton Hinz auditioned with Volkan Orhon, a double-bass professor and String Area leader, he knew then and there that he was going to study at the University of Iowa. Hinz, a first-year music performance major from Moorpark, Calif., performed live auditions for three universities, but he says that meeting Orhon during his UI audition made the choice simple.
“Professor Orhon immediately came off as friendly and informative,” says Hinz, who picked up the electric bass at 7 and transitioned to the double bass when he was 12. “He gave really helpful constructive criticism, and I knew I wanted to learn from him.”
Orhon says he sets specific goals for each student in order for them to become well-rounded players capable of finding success, no matter what career path they choose. That personal touch has helped Orhon not only develop his current students’ abilities but also recruit musicians like Hinz.
“In a university setting, students come with different levels of talent and expectations of the role music will play in their life,” Orhon says. “My challenge is to identify the most appropriate teaching style to fit the needs of each student.”
Soon after his enrollment in the fall of 2015, Hinz joined the UI Symphony Orchestra. He says his membership in the orchestra has made a world of difference to his life as a music major and as new student.
“The orchestra provides us with valuable performance experience,” he says. “It has also helped me connect and build friendships with other students, which makes the practices and work more fun.”
See first-year student Dalton Hinz and other members of the UI Symphony Orchestra perform during a Feb. 17 event on the UI campus. Video by Taylor Edelle Stuart.
Orhon, too, believes the orchestra is a vital supplement to music students’ development, along with their studies and scheduled practices.
“Most musicians will play in an orchestra at some point in their professional careers. It teaches them how to play in a large ensemble setting while learning major orchestral works,” he says.
Now, Hinz’s promising audition has transformed into a strong academic relationship—Hinz and Orhon meet once a week for one-on-one lessons.
“[Professor Orhon’s] mindful of giving critique without being harsh and killing your motivation,” says Hinz. “He inspires you to practice harder and get better.”
Hinz also attends weekly group lessons with the other bass players, and he has orchestral rehearsals three times a week as well, which are led by William LaRue Jones, the director of orchestral studies and conductor of the orchestra. Hinz says all that practice prepares him thoroughly and that he rarely feels nervous leading up to a performance.
Even before he enrolled at the UI, playing the bass helped Hinz navigate his life and goals.
“Performing music helped me mature, taught me how to work with others, and manage time well,” he says.
After graduating high school, Hinz enrolled in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and served for three years. At the end of his service, he decided to pursue a career in music performance and says his experience here so far has been encouraging.
“We get to learn from some great musicians, which helps us develop immensely,” he says. “The orchestra is one of my highest priorities.”
The symphony orchestra most recently performed in the Iowa Memorial Union on Feb. 17 and will resume their performances in Hancher once the new building opens in the fall.