Revelatory. Inspirational. True.
Revelatory. Inspirational. True.
This morning’s annual Recognition Breakfast honored several outstanding teachers, a half-dozen retirees, and all of us who have service anniversaries this year.
I received a Webster keyring in honor of five years this year (the actual date is June 16).
Jeanine York-Garesche is a 15-year employee this year; she’s our clarinet professor.
Thirty-year faculty (!) are Kevin Gianino, Dee Pavelka, Daniel Schene, Gary Sims,, and Carolbeth True.
And my colleague Bob Chamberlin, Professor of Music and head of music theory, is completing 40 years of teaching this year!
I attended last evening the Conservatory senior follies show, something that is really a few funny moments coupled with dozens of long-standing awards. Laughter commingled with tears for most of the evening.
I barely held back my own tears as I watched two of my students say goodbye, both of them long before having given over to their own emotion. And in the blink of a watery eye, my mind was back 30 years ago.
Thirty years ago this month I graduated from university. My recollection is that I cried pretty much through the entire day of graduation and on the long drive to my new home in southern Missouri. College had been the best four years of my life, and I had developed friendships there that I knew would never be the same in their immediacy.
I watch the students in my own department, and I see these friendships develop over four years, more or less. ‘Tis no wonder that we feel powerful emotions at that culminating moment.
We faculty feel something just as powerful, but more nuanced, for we know that our job is teach, inspire, impart, and love these students for a while, then send them on to the next step in their journey. Our journey is filled with a cycle of welcome/goodbye, something that happens every year. That longer view doesn’t lessen the loss we feel when a special student, a keen and eager and talented young musician and scholar, crosses the stage for the last time at college. But the longer view does help with some perspective and clarity.
That I still say prayers of thanksgiving by name for some of my high school and college teachers (and mentors) is a testament of the long view that they took years ago in imparting their knowledge and wisdom to me. They paid it forward. I trust that I’m doing the same.
But this weekend may be a weepy one as Webster University celebrates another Commencement Day.
Jean the Magnificent is squealing with delight today, doing a happy dance. In six months, she and her staff have produced printed programs for 106 different performances. And today is the last day of class for the 2012-13 school year. Everyone is happy, especially the office manager….
We invite you to experience our final musical offerings for Spring 2013! Here are a few of the concerts and recitals in the next week.
Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – Concert Series: New Music Ensemble. Community Music School room 11, 535 Garden Ave, 63119. $
Saturday, April 27 at 12 noon – Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition preliminary round, featuring five emerging singers. Moore Auditorium, 470 E Lockwood, 63119. Free!
Sunday, April 28 at 7.30 p.m. – Webster Presents: Webster University Choirs, conducted by Trent Patterson and Martha Hart. Community Music School, 535 Garden Ave, 63119. $
Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. – Webster Presents: Webster Wind Ensemble & Webster Jazz Collective, conducted by James Martin. Community Music School, 535 Garden Ave, 63119. $
What an extraordinary concert . . . and afternoon . . . this was!
Bob Chamberlin is the senior faculty member in the Department of Music. During his time at Webster, Bob has also been Director of the London campus, Acting Dean of Students, and Director of Academic Advising.
The one constant in Bob’s long career has been his creative life as a composer (along with his marriage to the delightful Jan, and his other roles as father, organist, and punster).
Bob is quick-witted, ever-smiling, and one of the most genuinely lovely people I know. I value his guidance and wisdom, and respect him tremendously.
Two years ago, our colleague Pat Partridge, Canon Musician at Christ Church Cathedral, suggested that one of the concerts on the Shepley Series there feature music by Bob. Today was the day.
Over the course of 90 minutes, we heard Bob’s music sung by choirs, played by a tuba, rung by handbells. There was organ, piano, percussion, flute, strings, brass. And a bagpipe.
We heard hymn tunes. And songs about fish. Aleatory music, and carefully crafted toccatas.
The breadth and inventiveness of this extraordinary man . . . and the humor he brings to everything he does . . . was truly present today.
Add to that a full house and an appreciative audience, and one has a wonderful April afternoon.
Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. – Concert Series: Music for Baroque cello, with Ken Kulosa and friends. Moore Auditorium, 470 E Lockwood, 63119. $
Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. – Jazz at Webster: Student Jazz Combos. Community Music School room 10, 535 Garden Ave, 63119. $
Wednesday, April 3 at 8 p.m. – Jazz at Webster: Paul DeMarinis, saxophone, and Kim Portnoy, piano, in faculty recital. Thompson Music Building recital hall, 8282 Big Bend, 63119. Free! (Note the 8 p.m. start time.)
Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. – Webster Presents: Perspectives – The Music of Bob Chamberlin, on the Shepley Concert Series. Christ Church Cathedral, 13th and Locust, Saint Louis. Free!
Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. – Concert Series: Chamber Music for Voice and Flute, with Martha J. Hart, voice and Paula Kasica, flute in a faculty recital. Moore Auditorium, 470 E Lockwood, 63119. $
Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. – Jazz at Webster: Student Jazz Combos. Community Music School room 10, 535 Garden Ave, 63119. $
Voces8 led a master class with Chamber Singers last week. Take a look!