Eyes of Eau Claire: Dawson Redenius

Music student pursues his dreams in jazz

More stories from Elizabeth Gosling



Dawson Redenius is a first-year music education student, specializing in the instrumental track of the major. He said jazz is his first love, and he hopes to someday work in New York City at the Lincoln Center.

One year ago today, a high school trumpet player would not have believed he would be playing in a professional chamber orchestra around the country.

However, for Dawson Redenius, a first-year music education student, the opportunity just presented itself. At this moment, he is touring with Lorie Line’s Pop Chamber Orchestra as a musician from UW-Eau Claire. On this tour, he is playing nearly every day until Dec. 23 with five other members.

“That’s all it is, just opportunities on top of each other,” Redenius said. “There’s tons of opportunities on this tour, so that’s the most appealing thing about it.”

Besides being on Line’s tour, Redenius is a member of “As of Now,” a jazz combo he started; the Blugold Marching Band; Symphony Band; Jazz Ensemble and the trumpet studio at Eau Claire.

Although the musician from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin has only been a Blugold for nearly one semester, he said the experiences here have helped him grow. Through going to college and connecting with peers, he said it is important to hold himself and his plan accountable.

“If you say you can do something and you don’t do it, that doesn’t look good for you as an individual,” Redenius said. “And I’ve known that for a while, but I’ve gotten great practice with it in college because there is a lot of opportunities, a lot of things that people want to rely on you for, and if you can’t be reliable, people aren’t going to ask you to come hang. So that’s a good lesson to learn pretty fast.”

Michael St. Ores, a fellow member of the Blugold Marching Band and head of the trumpet section in the ensemble, said Redenius is a focused individual who is not a stereotypical first-year student.

As an organizational communication sophomore student, St. Ores said he first met Redenius at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival last spring.

“I think that his focused attitude towards music as well as his knowledge and passion for it,specifically the jazz area, is what I’ve noticed he brings most strongly to the musical community in Eau Claire,” St. Ores said.

St. Ores is also a part of the Eau Claire trumpet studio class, where students learn techniques and skills for the instrument. He said Redenius being a part of Line’s tour speaks to the music program as well as their specific studio.

Eau Claire sets students up with opportunities, St. Ores said, and because of the connections the community has with the arts, being a part of it is great.

“I think that Dawson is just a really good example of the kind of opportunities that we have here in Eau Claire,” St. Ores said.  “I think he’s a great example of the kind of musicians and the kind of people that come out of this school, through the instructors that we have and through the experiences of the instructors that we get.”

Redenius said he does not perform music for himself, rather, he does it for other people. He said music has the power to transport people to a different place, helping them “dust off the dust of everyday life.”

In the future, Redenius said he hopes to work for the Lincoln Center in New York City or become a solo jazz artist. Before he started touring with Line, he was a regular at Monday Jazz Sessions at The Lakely.

Redenius’ jazz combo, “As of Now,” has a consistent show slot at El Patio and was performing regularly before he left for the tour. He said jazz is his passion, and he is thankful for the opportunities the university has given him to help him in the future.

“That’s my first love,” Redenius said. “Jazz is where my true love is at.”