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October 31, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 31, 2018
 

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D1 Wednesday, October 31, 2018 Ensuring that Shepherd University students learn and grow is music to Professor Scott Hippensteel's ears DAVID PENNOCK LEFT: Scott Hippensteel - the hard-working musician and music professor who joined Shepherd University in 2011 from his native Indiana - is known by many on campus as "Dr. Hip." He's shown here in Shepherdstown during Saturday's rain-soaked win over West Virginia Wesleyan. Story by Beth Batdorf at Shepherd University football :::: itt games look forward : halftime when the: Ram band marches onto the field to entertain the crowd with favor- ites like Ray Charles's "Let the ' :: Good T'maes Roll," Brian Setzer's :s: "Rock This Town," "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen and the Ste- vie Wonder hit, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," Perhaps some football fans take note of the neatly dressed man standing by the band, smiling qui, etly as fans enjoy the halftime en-tertainment. That would be Scott Hippen- steel, the director of instrumen- tal studies at Shepherd since 2011. .Many here call him "Dr, Hip." low both the performers and audi- fact that three of his middle school His spot on the sidelines, out of ence to experience the whole cir- friends are now professional mu- the limelight, suits the Indiana na- cle of emotions. But he also con- sicians. tire just fine. When asked what's siders the kind of music he thinks Hippensteel earned his under- most important for a musician or the students need during their col- graduate degree at Indiana Uni- music educator to find success, he lege years and the desire to chal- versity in Bloomington and then answers: "Humility." Rather than lenge students to go beyond what completed master's and doctoral tooting his own hom, he's always they think they can do. degrees at Ball State University in singing the praises of the universi- Hippensteel grew up in Hunting- Muncie, Ind. ty's music department, ton, Ind a town of about 15,000 Hippensteel told me that all mu- "We know our students well," that's home to the Dan Quaylesic educators start as performers said Hippensteel, who is in his Vice Presidential Museum. He and he loves to pick up his bass 25th year of teaching. "We work grew up on the family's livestock trombone and make music. He with them every day and monitor and grain farm with his parents plays at every opportunity - to their growth which is a really spe- and three younger sisters. His fa- keep up his "chops" - including at cial opportunity." ther was a teacher and his moth- weekly practices with the Village He said his favorite part of his er a stay at home mom who also Brass Quintet, alongside Keith A1- day comes when he works with worked as a hair stylist. Though exander, one of Shepherd's history the ensembles. You can see the de- his parents were not musicians, professors. light in his eyes as he steps on the they were music lovers who en- The Village Brass will perform podium or when he stands proudly joyed all types of music. Nov. 30 at Shepherdstown Presby- beside the Ram band student con- Hippensteel's interest in mu-terian Church as part of the Civil ductors, sic dates to the third grade when War Christmas celebration orga- Hippensteel describes his pro- he began to take piano lessons nized by the George Tyler Moore gramming style as "holistic," in- from one of his father's friends. Centerfor the Study of the Civil co,orating mind, body, heart and He went on to join the band in the War. spirit. He programs pieces that al- sixth grade and is proud of the Now in addition to leading the i: Ram marching band, he teach- es instrumental music education classes and instrumental conduct- ing and is the conductor of Shep- herd's wind ensemble and sym- phonic band. He teaches every spring at the string and jazz camps offered at Shepherd for middle and high school students and often serves as an adjudicator and guest conductor at high school band competitions in Indiana, Maryland and West Vir- ginia. In January, Hippensteel will be one of the conductors at the 15th- annual Shepherd University Wind, Jazz and Choral Honor Music Fes- tival. The festival takes place over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to connect high school students from Maryland, Virgin- ia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania with master classes, clinics and per- formances. This year for the first time there will be an honor choir. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT SCOTT HIPPENSTEEL Dow Benedict, Shepherd's Dean of Arts and Humanities "One of the times that I think best shows Scott's abilities as a teacher .happened several years ago in a spring semester. He was direct- ing the wind ensemble and I sat in on a couple of the rehearsals. One of the musical pieces they were go- ing to perform in an upcoming con- cert was a difficult piece of music based on 'Moby Dick' which is one of my favorite books. In addition to teaching the intricacies of the music itself, Dr. Hippensteel took the time to talk about the book so that the student performers could understand what mood the mu- sic was supposed to portray, such as peaceful days and rough wa- ters and storms at sea and the battle with the whale itself. "It would have been so much eas- ier to teach the students to play it note for note and pause for pause. Instead Dr. Hippensteel chose to teach the students why the parts of the piece were written. And in do- ing so taught them about the lit- erature, the history, even about the structure of whaling ships. I was most impressed and was even more impressed when I heard the final concert in which this very difficult piece of music was played flawless- ly by the students." Chase Remsburg, a Shepherd grad working as an orchestra direc- tor in Washington County, Md. "Dr. Hippensteel is an incred- ible teacher and mentor for me at .' (See DR. HIP Page D3) 9th Cocktail Reception, Dinner/Dessert, Auctions, Photo Booth, & Fun Acdvities All For a Cause .Jtlllllll 2L :":" Hosted by RotoroYf Charles Town , ,r o slno Ilroom Saturday I November 3'd [ 6 'u- 10 M Admission s50* * Advanced ticket purchase requited Jeanie Hamilton for more information 304-676-2031 j