A musical study
Where is she now? An update to our original story.
By Danielle Beyer, journalism, Class of 2012
Jacki Thering graduated from UW Oshkosh in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and violin performance. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in violin performance at Butler University. While at Butler, she received a graduate assistantship in accompanying that has given her the opportunity to accompany the Butler Chorale, two voice classes at the university and various vocalists and instrumentalists.
Thering traveled to Greece and Italy during spring break in 2011 with the Butler music department where she was able to play organ during Mass at St. Peter’s in the Vatican. She also gave a solo violin performance at the university in November 2010 and is planning another solo performance for fall 2011.
By Tracy Rusch, journalism, May 2008 graduate
When students think of research, scientific experiments often come to mind. For music education and violin performance major Jacki Thering, it means exploring the world of chamber music.
Thering, who received a full four-year scholarship to UW Oshkosh for being a National Merit Scholar Finalist, participated in the 2004-2005 Student/Faculty Small Grants Collaborative Research program. Thering received grant money to do her research, and, although the program has since been discontinued, she is still benefiting from the experience.
Her research project titled “The World of Chamber Music” was meant to help students gain experience working together as professionals, performing as chamber musicians, studying a variety of chamber music repertoire, and learning how to solve challenging technical and ensemble problems.
“Chamber music is something I have been involved with every semester at UW Oshkosh,” Thering said. “There’s so much to learn.”
Thering’s violin teacher and adviser Klara Fenyö Bahcall purchased a wide range of sheet music including quartets, violin duets, and concertos for three and four violins. Ensemble members were coached by Bahcall during weekly chamber rehearsals, and there they learned how to rehearse effectively, communicate meaningfully and grow as musicians.
“She helped develop our stylistic sensitivity, our cohesiveness as an ensemble, our technique, and our appreciation of our chamber repertoire,” Thering said.
During the research project, Thering and other students looked into the lives of the composers to better understand the pieces they played. Rehearsals with Bahcall and the entire ensemble left Thering energized and confident in her ability to improve.
By project completion, Thering and the ensemble experienced growth both individually and as a group. “What we gained from this experience will carry over into our solo playing and orchestral playing,” she said.
Thering’s music history and theory classes provided a strong foundation for the musical study she did during her research project but could never replace the experience of working with Bahcall. Studying a piece of chamber music with the guidance of a faculty member is something she suggests to every music student.
“Pick an area that you are interested in, and collaborate with a faculty member with whom you work well,” Thering said. “One who will keep you challenged, but also will encourage you.”
When she graduates in 2010, Thering wants to teach orchestra and private lessons and play in an area symphony. After successfully completing her research project, Thering feels like she’s getting closer to reaching those goals.
“You have to be secure with your own playing if the ensemble has any chance of succeeding,” she said. “Being successful with chamber music makes you all around a better musician in any setting.”
As a UW Oshkosh undergraduate student, Jacki Thering is a student editor for Oshkosh Scholar, and was involved in the 2004-2005 Student/Faculty Small Grants Collaborative Research program.