Letter to the Editor: Justin Coyne

To the editor,

This past weekend, I performed in the wind ensemble concert “Innovations.” As a performer, I take great pride in my work. This is my life, my passion and something I hope to make a career out of. Upon seeing The Lawrentian article “Band and ensemble present ‘Innovations,’” I was excited to be recognized for the work I did, especially considering it was one of the best concerts I can remember.

However, after reading the article, I was seriously disappointed with the inaccuracy of the information. The piece “Bali” is far from a lament and the form is not slow-fast-slow, but fast-slow-fast. Joseph Schwantner’s work, “…and the mountains rising nowhere” was not originally arranged for woodwinds as written in the article. A simple Google search would have revealed that.

There was also no offstage percussion on the Schwantner composition. That did not occur until Mackey’s “Frozen Cathedral.” These are just a few examples of the inaccuracies that filled this article. Furthermore, it was very obvious that the author did not attend the whole concert.

There was no mention of the concerto performed exceptionally well by junior Dylan Younger, winner of the wind ensemble concerto competition, or the incredibly powerful performance of Mackey’s composition. These were clearly the highlights of the concert, but received absolutely no mention in the article.

Someone covering a music event should have at least a rough background in music. It was clear the author was reaching, spewing phrases that sounded intelligent, but made no sense to the average musician. While I do not expect The Lawrentian to be a professional music review, I do expect some level of musical proficiency in the writer.

It concerns me that someone was paid to write this article. I love seeing my work mentioned in The Lawrentian It brings me great pride in what I do. However, it was painfully obvious that the author was only writing this for the sake of her job. It was rife with inaccuracies.

If a writer is reviewing a concert, they should be expected to attend the whole event. The author should have a background in what they are writing about. An incomplete article reflects poorly not only on The Lawrentian, but also on the conservatory. For some people, the only experience they have with the conservatory is through reading articles in The Lawrentian. We, as musicians, hold ourselves to a high standard and expect the same from our critics.


– Justin Coyne