Music is the tie that brings us all together. Several members of the Hiram College performing arts program recently celebrated these ties with music faculty and students from across Ohio. 

Hosted by the University of Findlay, the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association’s (OPCICA) annual Honors Festival Weekend brought together students and faculty from 18 private colleges and universities across Ohio. 

Hiram students, Amanda Murphey ‘24 and Rebecca Cotterman ‘25, and Hiram professor, Isaac Winland, DMA, visiting assistant professor of instrumental music, indulged in two days of intense music study during the festival weekend. 

Murphey and Cotterman performed alongside students from across Ohio in the Honors Concert Band, while Dr. Winland was selected as a guest conductor. Students prepared for their concert over a 2-day period across three rehearsals. 

Dr. Isaac Winland, AManda Murphey, and Rebecca Cotterman at their OPCICA performance.
Dr. Isaac Winland, Amanda Murphey, and Rebecca Cotterman at their OPCICA Honors Band performance.

“OPCICA is a great place for networking and growth among college music directors and students,” Winland said. “I submitted pieces I would like to conduct during the festival. Then, the festival committee chooses the program from everything submitted, and I was lucky enough to have one of my chosen pieces, Undertow by John Mackey, selected as the final piece for the concert.” 

Cotterman, an English and educational license double major, was able to enjoy her second time performing with the OPCICA Honors Band, as she also attended last year’s festival weekend. “The OPCICA weekend was a really fun experience for me! Getting to play with other students who are passionate about music makes me excited about playing and helps me to learn more technical skills and how to work through difficult sections in a piece,” said Cotterman. “The band got to debut a great piece during our performance and work with the woman who composed the piece! Working with the composer was amazing, and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend.” 

The OPCICA was founded in 1987 by Dr. Ken Kleszynski (Otterbein College), and Dr. William Schlacks (Muskingum College). Today, it is comprised of more than twenty private colleges and universities in the state of Ohio. 

By Taylor Cook