This week’s University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert features a homecoming. Matthew Inkster grew up in Laramie and attended the University of Wyoming, where he played trumpet in the UW Symphony. On Thursday, he’ll be guest conducting the orchestra.
Contrary to common wisdom, he says the role of conductor isn’t about being in charge of the orchestra. “The idea that the maestro is this chief in charge of things is really not the way it necessarily goes, particularly in performance,” he says. “It’s very collaborative, and it’s often in reaction with the ensemble and things of the moment where you are very much not in control.”
Inkster graduated from UW in 1992 with a degree in music education. Inkster says music education students, in particular, benefit from seeing how a guest conductor works, in preparation for their own careers. “To observe the technique not just of conducting but how somebody manages a rehearsal from the podium—those are things that I think are really valuable for students to get to see.”
Inkster will be conducting a program of works by Eastern European composers on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. at UW’s Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where he is Visiting Professor of Music and Conductor in the School of Music at Ithaca College.