Submitted by Daniel Albertson
Washburn University students are doing their best to continue both their education and extracurricular activities while facing the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.
This semester, one student is using his passion and commitment for music to bring more appreciation to Washburn’s music department.
Fifth-year senior, Daniel Albertson, will be performing a virtual percussion concert Sunday, Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. His concert will be streamed on the Topeka Public Library’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Albertson is highly involved in the Washburn and Topeka community. He is part of the National Association for Music Education, serves on the board for Topeka Festival Singers, and helps teach percussion at Topeka West High School and Highland Park High School.
Outside of music, Albertson is the President of Kappa Sigma, a fraternity on campus. He is also involved in a few National Honor Society programs and has recently accepted the role of Communication and Marketing Director for the Washburn Student Government Association.
“I’m always looking for the next best thing that Washburn can offer, and if they don’t offer it, then why not start with me to make that opportunity possible?” Albertson said. “I really push the boundaries of what I can do and what other students in the department see that they can do.”
Albertson’s go-getter attitude has pushed him to succeed in and outside the classroom. Dr. Von Hansen, Washburn’s Assistant Director of Bands, has noticed this characteristic in Albertson during class times and private lessons.
“He’s the one I lean on to help establish the expectations for the rest of the group,” Hansen said. “[He’s] really hard-working to the point where I sometimes have to keep him from putting too much work on stuff because he has really high expectations and high goals.”
Albertson’s ambition stems from pure enjoyment of playing and teaching percussion. His favorite part about playing and teaching is seeing improvement in both himself and others.
“That’s a really important part for keeping people motivated and doing what they’re doing, because if people don’t see improvement, then there’s a less chance that they’re going to want to continue,” Albertson said.
One way that Albertson has improved himself this year was by creating and preparing the content for his upcoming concert.
“He decided what he was going to play, he practiced, and set up the cameras,” Hansen said. “He basically learned how to be a professional musician and put on a recital by himself.”
Albertson is passionate about bringing more recognition to the music department and what the students and professors are working on, even through the COVID-19 obstacles.
“We’re all still working hard to make it,” Albertson said. “The department is still doing good things and students are still kicking butt even when we are limited in the capacity that we are.”
Albertson appreciates everyone who supports him and the music department in any way they can.
“Thank you for continuing to support Fine Arts even during difficult times like this, because we’re already under a lot of duress and attack from those who don’t find much meaning in what we do,” Albertson said. “So, those who go and support things that we do, we are very grateful for that.”
If you would like to support Albertson and the Washburn University music department, Albertson’s socially distanced concert will be available for viewing this Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. on the Topeka Public Library’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Edited by Shelby Spradling, Joelle Conway