Ensembles Assistant at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
On the job: As the ensembles assistant at the Hopkins Center for the Arts since 2005, Langley supports nine student music performance ensembles, helping the groups and their directors prepare for concerts as well as the day-to-day business of rehearsals and musicians’ individual practice sessions. On any given day he might be called on to repair an instrument, make housing arrangements for visiting musicians, or a variety of other tasks that draw on his experience as a trumpet player from age ten, a band director in Massachusetts and Maine, and a teacher of music after graduating from the University of New Hampshire. “My favorite part is working with the students themselves,” he says, “helping out when they have instrument problems or giving advice as someone who has been a professional player and educator.”
Stephen Langley supports the music-making of nine Hopkins Center student ensembles. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)
In the community: “I find myself sometimes biting off more than I can chew!” says Langley of his wide range of activities beyond Dartmouth. A member of the Rotary Club of Lebanon-Riverside, he has been active in charitable programs that strive to eradicate polio globally, promote literacy in the Upper Valley, and building the Riverside Community Park. Langley serves as the executive director of the Connecticut River Valley Orchestra and recently played fourth trumpet in the Dartmouth Wind Symphony’s production of A Higher Calling under the direction of Matthew Marsit.
The music man: Langley spends nearly half his time in the instrument storage room in the basement of the Hopkins Center facilitating instrument repairs and ensuring the safekeeping of the several hundred college-owned instruments stored on the premises. This is a daunting yet invigorating task, he says: the collection boasts everything from djembes, congas and other drums for the World Music Percussion Ensemble; equipment for the Dartmouth College Marching Band; and less well-known instruments such as a dulcian, a Renaissance ancestor of the bassoon, contrabass clarinets, and bass saxophones. Langley does admit to a less glamorous side of the job: having to refill humidifiers daily and over the weekends to ensure the instruments remain well preserved.