From the Chair: Music@Webster

From the Chair of the Department of Music, Webster University in Saint Louis

Scholarship recipients


Some of our top students have received named, endowed scholarships this year.  We celebrated their success and their potential at the Webster University Department of Music convocation this week.


Five big recital prep mistakes

cropped-blogheader.jpgI’ve been prepping for a meeting today with students who give degree recitals this semester.

My normal teaching style eschews negative example as the first example, but for this one time today I’m thinking of providing a list of ‘Five Big Mistakes Recital-Givers Make.’

That list of mistakes would include:

  1. Not checking TWO calendars.  You must check for room availability (Current Students page) AND the departmental performance calendar. And you must do all of this in steady and regular consultation with your applied teacher AND the program area director.
  2. Not starting program notes early enough and not working on program notes jointly with your applied teacher.  The last think you wish to do is be re-writing program notes during the few days before your recital.
  3. Not turning in program listing and complete programs in time (no less than two weeks in advance).
  4. Forgetting that all recitals require a full hearing 30 days in advance, which means that all the pieces are ready to go that early (allowing for polishing and tweaking during the month before the recital event).
  5. Thinking that we are bluffing when we remind you that you must follow the rules or we’ll cancel the recital.  We don’t cancel without feeling badly for you and others, but our common lives (especially in Spring semester when we have more recitals each week than we wish to countenance) mean that we must all follow the rules that are explicitly and clearly laid out.

Full details for recitals are in the Webster University Department of Music Handbook.

Faculty training

School starts tomorrow.

This past week included a number of faculty sessions and professional development sessions.  Several faculty took advantage of Canvas and TK20 training, plus a syllabus workshop.

Here’s Justin leading a session on TK20 assessment software:


New students

As part of new student orientation today, we met with many of our incoming students.   Mirth and joy and ensued.  We are gonna have a great year…..


A good gig

Four of our performance, music tech, and music education majors have landed a great gig: a skiffle band as part of One Man, Two Guv’nors at the Rep.

These guys are going to entertain eight shows a week for 3.5 weeks.  They get their Union cards.  And they get to do some great music to what will be a lively and appreciative audience.

I’m so glad that I could hook these guys up with the Rep, and that all has worked out so well.  They’re already a hit!

Here’s the band entertaining a Rep fundraiser tonight, on the patio of Thompson House:


Restoring Respect

Webster University Statement on Restoring Respect

As leaders of a global institution dedicated to diversity and inclusion, the news coming out of St. Louis this week is heart wrenching.

As parents with our own families, we are saddened at the tragic events of this week being reported in St. Louis. As community members, we are further saddened at the violence in the streets and in businesses in Ferguson and beyond. And as leaders of Webster University, it is a stark reminder that our work to open minds through educational opportunities is never done.

Let us come together as a community, a nation and a world to gain a deeper understanding of our own and others’ values. Let us continue the difficult conversations necessary to move forward. It is only by doing so that we will begin to restore the respect for ourselves and for others that will allow us to flourish as a society.

Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, PhD

Julian Z. Schuster, PhD

America’s Youth Orchestra

Maestro David Robertson of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and other groups is leading the American Youth Orchestra in tour this summer.

Take a look!

The classical world (and its meeting of the digital age) is well in their hands!

For something fun, watch all of the section videos.

String teaching workshop

Dr. Paul Davis, Director of Instrumental Studies, has a full week next week.  Take a look!


This week in Lincoln, I have seen a number of variant spellings of the four primary voice types.

Herewith, a curious list:

  • seprano
  • sapprano
  • mezzio-alto
  • tenner
  • tenre
  • barritone
  • and of course, base.


NPR ran this article on Saturday.

I enjoyed 27 immensely!

That a major world premiere took place on our campus, and just yards from our music building, is truly a wondrous and happy thing!


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