WSU gave music education graduate opportunities, advantage
Wichita State alumnus Troy Fischer knows from experience that making the most of opportunities as a college student can pay off with a career.
Fischer, who graduated in 2008 from WSU with an instrumental music education degree, has been band director at Wichita Collegiate School for almost five years.
“It’s fun seeing kids develop their musicianship, and especially fun to be a part of their successes and triumphs,” said Fischer.
While studying at WSU, Fischer gained experience through a part-time job at East Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita. He played bass guitar at a contemporary worship service and directed the middle and high school youth choirs.
At Collegiate, Fischer directs four concert bands, two jazz ensembles and the Marching Spartans, a band that performs at athletic events and area competitions. He also coordinates with an assistant director who leads two drumline groups, a beginning jazz ensemble and a middle school music technology class.
“I’m always amazed at how much excitement fifth-graders have for a new instrument and adventure each year,” said Fischer. “At the same time, it’s exciting to see juniors and seniors really own their passion and appreciation for instrumental music as they prepare for the next phases of their lives.”
Fischer said that as a WSU student, there were opportunities available for him to pursue any musical avenue he wanted.
“I had a wonderful experience at Wichita State,” he said. “I love the school’s connection to the city of Wichita, especially as that relates to the fine arts field.”
Fischer, who is now working toward a master’s degree in music education at WSU, was recently hired part time as director of music ministries at Andover United Methodist Church in Andover, Kan.
“The more connections you can make in your field before graduation, the more potential to open up a wide spectrum of opportunities after college,” he said. “Maybe even an opportunity that wasn’t expected.”
Many of the relationships Fischer built with professors and area professionals turned into references when he was looking for a full-time music education job.
He encourages students to jump at volunteer and work experiences with confidence.
“Get your name out there and see what happens,” said Fischer. “The Wichita State faculty is there to back you up and see you succeed.”