We are at that spot in the semester, just prior to mid-term and a week break, where concerts are taking place right and left.
And this department chair is very happy this month.
Last week the Webster University Orchestra played a concert that featured idiomatic Johann Strauss, powerful blasts of Shostakovich, and three concerto/aria contest winners — two juniors and an alumnus — in concert. The orchestra was in very fine form; the audience, wildly appreciative. And well they should have been.
Tonight we saw three choirs in a season-opening concert. Students from fourteen states and four foreign countries. Provocatively themed programming asking serious and difficult questions. And a large and enthusiastic audience.
One of my joys as department chair is seeing how our students support and encourage each other. First- and second-year students have been quietly reporting recently that they feel such camaraderie and kinship with their classmates.
This tight bond starts with faculty. Just this evening several parents said “best choice ever” in sending their kids to Webster University, and two of them specifically mentioned how their children are reporting nurture and care from faculty members that far outweighs what other older children in those same families experienced at other schools. This is the model at a small, private, residential college — but it’s also the Webster Way.
We have one more major ensemble concert before Fall Break. I expect to be proud again on Monday.