Elysee Joins Southwestern To Begin String Program (Video)

Elysee Joins Southwestern To Begin String Program (Video)

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The department of music at Southwestern Adventist University welcomes Dr. Marc Elysee, director of orchestral studies. This is the first year that Southwestern offers a string program for students.

“I want to bring the best I can to Southwestern and heighten the level of music in our Adventist institutions,” says Elysee. “I also want to help students improve their skills so that in turn, they can reach other people in a meaningful way.”

According to Elysee, there are two parts to the orchestral program at Southwestern: a chamber orchestra that consists of about 12 students, and a string quartet. Students are welcome to put together a string quartet and Elysee will help coach them.

He also teaches Survey of Music and an instrumental conducting class.

“Dr. Elysee brings expertise in many areas,” said Jonathan Wall, department chair. “He is an accomplished and award-winning violinist, an acclaimed conductor and has experience building successful ensembles. We are looking forward to the opportunities that will be created under his direction.”

“I think that starting something new is always very exciting,” said Elysee. “It’s a little scary but it’s mostly exciting. The prospect for me to build an orchestra program is great. I also think that for the University it’s a great asset to have a strong music program, not only in choral and band, but also having the third leg of the program, the symphony orchestra program.”

Elysee was born in northern France. He had his first violin lesson at seven years old, while in the mission field. His parents were missionaries on Reunion Island, just east of Madagascar.

“My first violin teacher had a very strange pedagogy,” said Elysee, “and so I think I got a little bit of a trauma at first. I stopped the violin after six months. Then a couple of years later, when we returned to France, my parents found a teacher that had very good pedagogic skills and it renewed my interest in the violin.”

Elysee studied musicology at the Marc Bloch University and violin in the Music Conservatory in Strasbourg, France. He graduated with outstanding achievement in violin performance from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After that, he attended Andrews University in Michigan for his masters in instrumental conducting and James Madison in Virginia for his doctorate in orchestral conducting, music pedagogy and literature.

“I think for anyone on campus music is a very good thing,” said Elysee. “I guess creating beauty together, something that is nice, is fulfilling emotionally and aesthetically. I think it’s a great thing. Definitely. I would recommend it for everyone.”

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