Major: Music—Jazz/Commercial Performance
It’s all about the bass for Derek Wiegmann.
Through the jazz residency program at Towson University, he has played with some of the leading jazz musicians in the region in addition to playing principal bass in TU’s orchestra and in the pit orchestra for a theater production as part of the American Opera Symposium hosted at Towson University.
A key factor in his success as a music major in jazz/commercial performance: the incredible collaborations with current and former Towson University students performing in local bands and in jazz groups.
“Towson University students are a big part of the music scene in Baltimore,” says Wiegmann. The campus hosts the annual Bill and Helen Marburg Jazz Residency Program, which brings recognized jazz musicians such as Mary Halverson and Ellery Eskelin to TU for a week each year.
“We get to work with musicians, many of whom have followed similar paths to our own,” relates Wiegmann.“The residency programs took me out of my comfort zone with a different approach to improvisation.”
“In Towson University’s music department, there are so many opportunities open to students,” says Wiegmann. “You are not just here to learn and play jazz. You are here to become an improviser and explore very different styles of music.”
Wiegmann decided he wanted to be a musician when he was in high school.“There were some skeptics in my family, but once I went through the auditions at Towson University and convinced my family that this is a viable career choice, I had their support.” He returns to his high school on a regular basis to teach jazz combo and give private bass lessons.
In 2015, Wiegmann was selected to perform with the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York City. “It was a cool experience to play at that level with musicians of the highest caliber.”