William & Mary

Grant Gilman featured in a new article

The Virginia Gazette
Grant GilmanGrant Gilman is the new director of orchestras at the College of William & Mary. He recently answered a few questions about his job. What have you found to be the most rewarding part of your new job at W&M? Hands down, the students have been the most rewarding part of my job. Not only do they come to every rehearsal prepared, but they have an attitude of vigor and are hungry to learn. I am finding this to be a characteristic all William & Mary students share. What are your daily duties? Running an orchestra is a bit like being a wedding planner. For a month or more, we work towards a concert. In rehearsal we scrutinize subtle aspects of the music and work to feel more comfortable performing together. In addition, there are many administrative tasks that facilitate the concert event itself. Public relations, publicity, community engagement, marketing, etc., All need the same amount of attention as the music. Are you impressed with the level of expertise among your W&M orchestra members? The intelligence level in the orchestra is so high that I often wonder if the feeling is mutual. In high school, these were the students that sought excellence in every endeavor. The result is that they know not only how to play their instruments, but how to play the music in a way that moves both themselves and their audience. Do you hope to attract more people from the community to campus musical events? Absolutely. Music at William & Mary has a close relationship with Williamsburg. We want to embody the importance of art and music that helps to enrich this great community. Certainly, this continuous process will be carried by the whole of the music department. I hope to work with the students in the orchestra to participate in that collaboration. How does your job here differ from other positions you have held? Each community—whether a city, college, or orchestra—is unique. At William & Mary the students believe that this orchestra is and should continue to be an integral part of the school and their own lives. This orchestra is as much a family as it is an ensemble of top notch musicians. It is very satisfying to work with them every week. What about future goals? As the orchestra members continue to raise their expectations for the level of music making they can produce, it follows that they will be able to expand their repertoire. Integrating new pieces into their canon will further deepen the experience of each performer. In the growth that I have seen in just a short time, I am confident that these musicians are capable of many new challenges.
Ann Efimetz
The Williamsburg Magazine, April 2012