Dr. Eric Knost

by Jeffrey Carter

IMG_0324With some of his Webster University professors looking on, Dr. Eric Knost ’86 returned to the Department of Music this week to visit with current music students about how Webster University helped form him and gave him the tools he now employs as Superintendent of the Rockwood School District (Saint Louis County), one of the largest districts in the area with more than 30 schools and more than 21,500 students.

“We try to bring in people who are doing something now they didn’t necessarily think they might be doing when they were in college,” says Jeffrey Carter, Chair of the Department of Music.  “Dr. Knost is a Webster alum who certainly never expected to be a major administrator when he was a music education major here in the 1980s.  But he spoke eloquently about how we prepared him to be a band director, and where this journey has taken him.”

Knost shared wisdom with students: “Lives change when people come into contact with other people who care,” he told the music majors in attendance, before exhorting them to be one those people who care.    “Life is tough, but the way you find happiness in life is in what you do and how you do it.”

Remembering a life lesson learned from faculty members Steve Schenkel and Paul DeMarinis (both in the audience at his talk), Knost said “You can have all the chops in the world, but you have to have brains and hear to do music well.  You have to practice, and you have to consistently apply yourself.”

Knost, a lifelong resident of the Saint Lousi area, is one of an annual series of seminar speakers for music majors.  Subsequent speakers this semester include Webster faculty members Barry Hufker speaking on the history of recorded sound,  and Bob Chamberlin giving a ‘last lecture’ before his retirement after 42 years at Webster University.  David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, also presents a seminar later this semester.