Eagle Leader: Aydin Mack

Music started as a hobby for Aydin Mack, 21, junior of Alliance, but it has now led him to a future in music and a role as a leader on the Chadron State Campus.
Mack experienced music from a young age.
Growing up, his mother played the piano and his father played the guitar. When Mack was around the age of eight, his father taught him how to play the guitar, which was his first instrument.
With music playing a prominent role in his home, Mack began to love all genres of music, including “big hit” classical music, jazz, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. He loved music, but always saw it as a hobby.
Mack initially applied to the University of Nebraska Lincoln as a biology major. After realizing that UNL was not for him, he decided on coming to Chadron State College as a criminal justice major.
“As you can tell, that didn’t really work out. I figured, well, music is about the only thing I can do right so I need to follow that,” Mack said.
Mack worked with both Dr. Sidney Shuler, former CSC director of bands and brass studies, and Dr. Lambert, director of bands and brass studies prior to Dr. Shuler, in high school through lessons and honor bands. A passion for music and a familiarity with the staff led Mack to become an applied music major with a minor in business.
Three years later, Mack is thriving as a leader in CSC’s music department. He is a leader in Wind Symphony, CSC’s Jazz Band, the Eagle Pep Band and various other ensembles on campus.
“Any trips or purchases usually go through me. My name is now on the invoice, which I think is kind of weird,” Mack said.
Mack may have started his musical journey on the guitar, but he now plays piano, drums, violin, trumpet and even sings. While he plays a growing list of instruments, he plays the trumpet in most ensembles.
Learning the basics of music and being involved at CSC has deepened Mack’s love for music.
“Any of the music theory classes with Dr. Stephens has gotten me through my time on campus,” Mack said. “It makes me really understand what we’re doing and it makes music more interesting rather than just listening or picking little things out.”
With the support of faculty and staff in the music department, Mack has found his role on campus and said he was happy about his decision to switch majors.
“There is this general stigma that music people are pretentious and competitive with each other … but I have met such wonderful people,” Mack said. “And honestly, the faculty here are all completely over qualified for their positions and they are incredible teachers. With the help of them and such great personalities, the music community is really team based and almost like a family.”
Mack is so involved in the music department, that he doesn’t have time to do many other activities. But when he does have the time, he loves to be outdoors, whether he’s hiking, rock climbing or at a shooting range.
Looking toward the future, Mack hopes to pursue a career in military jazz bands. As for now, he simply wants to excel as a leader in the music department and see more campus involvement in ensembles.
“Even though it’s collegiate music, it is open to everybody. Tons of people play instruments, but nobody wants to join a band because we’re ‘nerds,’” Mack said. “[T]here are opportunities to get money and have scholarships. I just think that people should know that everybody has a spot in our department.”
Mack ended his interview with the simple statement: “Everybody join band.”

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