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Walla Walla, WA
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

An Unforgettable Family

February 16, 2023
Garrett Christensen

Students Share Their WWU Music Experiences

Garrett Christensen

Walla Walla University’s ICantori and Symphony Orchestra are two of the most popular music groups on campus. However, no matter what music group you choose, members agree that playing music at WWU is an unforgettable experience.  

Senior psychology major Josh Price said, “My favorite part of ICantori is the incredible feeling of belonging when we’re working together ... I know it doesn’t sound like I’m describing a choir, but we’re really a family for each other.” [1] 

Sophomore pre-speech-language pathology major Maddie Stone felt the same way. The people she is blessed to share the stage with “are such a great team and we really do become a family.” Singing in ICantori is one of Stone’s favorite parts of her day and “[it’s] a good way to get a mental break” from the rest of her classes. [2]  

Like many students involved in music groups at WWU, Stone is not a music major. These non-music major students are what hold the University ensembles together. For example, junior business major Emmalyn Logan joined ICantori because she loves it and “wanted to make music at a higher level with people who also [have] a passion for it.” [3] 

Junior bioengineering major JB Wa-Mbaleka joined orchestra for similar reasons. “When I was planning on coming to WWU, I found out they have a university orchestra. I watched their videos on YouTube and was captivated by how amazing they were,” he said. “From then on, I watched every time they performed.” For him, playing in the orchestra is a “fantastic feeling ... whenever we learn a new piece, it takes a while for us to play together,” he said. “But after countless practices, we perform as one; it’s an incredible feeling.” [4] 

Logan described the same feeling: “We’re all very different people, and we might not all agree on everything, [but] we can come together in a moment to create something beautiful.” [5] 

Wa-Mbaleka advised that, although music at a college level may look intimidating, “It just takes that first step.” [6] 

For anyone who is interested in joining the musician family here at WWU, auditions for all music groups open every September, and applications are available year-round. [7] 

Ensembles are always looking for new members. If you are willing to put in the work, music can enrich your college experience and give a much-needed break from the routine of classes. 



  1. SMS interview with Josh Price, 2/9/23. 
  2. SMS interview with Maddie Stone, 2/8/23. 
  3. SMS interview with Emmalyn Logan, 2/8/23. 
  4. Email interview with JB Wa-Mbaleka, 2/9/23. 
  5. SMS interview with Emmalyn Logan, 2/8/23. 
  6. Email interview with JB Wa-Mbaleka, 2/9/23. 
  7. Join an Ensemble! (n.d.). Walla Walla University. 
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