James Forger: Spring 2013 E-News Introduction

Spring 2013 commencement recognized 119 students earning various degrees. We congratulate them on their accomplishments and take a moment to highlight some college-wide achievements. 

This year’s spring commencement ceremonies recognized 119 MSU College of Music students earning degrees from a variety of disciplines. We congratulate them on their accomplishments and take a moment in this e-newsletter to highlight some college-wide achievements this past semester.

Spring Graduation

At the close of this spring’s semester, 45 undergraduates, 54 master’s students, and 20 doctoral students received their degrees from the College of Music. The baccalaureate ceremony included a variety of student performances, a commencement address from MSU alumnus Dr. Warrick L. Carter, and presentation of the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Excellence in Teaching Award to Richard Sherman, professor of flute.

Dr. Warrick Carter, president of Columbia College Chicago, graduated from MSU with a master’s in music in 1966 and a doctorate of philosophy in music education in 1971. Carter is an educator, composer, and performer with academic appointments at Berklee, Governors State, and Maryland before serving as the director of entertainment arts for Walt Disney Entertainment for four years. Honors include induction into the International Jazz Educators Hall of Fame and recipient of the National Black Caucus Achievement Award and the Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award. During commencement, Dr. Carter was presented with the College of Music’s Distinguished Alumni Award including a cash stipend in honor of his achievements.

During his visit, Carter also spent time with our faculty to share his insights on educating and preparing students for today’s challenging landscape in music. We appreciate his time and value his perspective as we continue to build upon our arts leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives within our college. 

Richard Sherman, professor of flute, was voted by his peers to receive this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The Dortha J. and John D. Withrow endowed fund for Excellence in Teaching recognizes faculty who provide distinguished service to MSU and our student body through instructional, performance and/or scholarly activities with a cash stipend of $2,500.

Giving Expands our Potential

Continued promising work unfolds with philanthropic support for the College of Music. As of March 2013, the college has raised $3.1 million in gifts and pledges in support of faculty, student and programmatic development. Gifts like these play a vital role in our ability to maintain and enhance our quality offerings. Private donations help support student scholarships, fellowships, program endowments, instrument acquisitions, guest artists, faculty and ensemble travel, outreach activities, operations, and other crucial areas that help make our college an exemplary place of learning.

On behalf of the faculty and student body, I would like to express my deep gratitude to ALL who provide private support. A special thank you to Eileen Houston, Doug and Ginny Jewell, and Patricia and Alan Hooper. Click here to read more about recent support of the College of Music.

Take A Seat. The beautifully renovated, 182-seat Byron and Dolores Cook Recital Hall has just 10 naming opportunities remaining. If you've been thinking about sponsoring a seat, now is the time to be a part of this transformational renovation in the Music Building. Please call the College of Music Advancement Office to secure your seat today at 517-353-9872. More information about this campaign.

Outstanding Visiting Artists

Visiting artists present great possibilities for our students to engage with music on a highly tangible level. This semester, a wide range of artists with varying backgrounds and expertise visited the College of Music to provide students with performance, lecture, and master class opportunities. From partnering with Wharton Center to bring internationally renowned singer Renée Fleming and flutist Sir James Galway, to grant-funded collaborations with steel pan jazz artist Andy Narell and calypso singer-songwriter Relator, exposure to these artists helps strengthen students’ perspectives on music careers and disciplines. Below is a list of some visiting artists we enjoyed this semester:

  • Renée Fleming, soprano and world-famous opera singer
  • Sir James Galway, internationally renowned flutist
  • Andy Narell, steel pan jazz artist
  • Relator, calypso singer-songwriter
  • John Rice, musicologist, the Stanley and Selma Hollander Endowed Fund in Musicology Lecture
  • Joe Alessi, principal trombonist, New York Philharmonic
  • U.S. Army Band Woodwind Quintet
  • Chuck Leavell, keyboardist, “the fifth Rolling Stone”
  • Mikhail Bezverkhni, solo violinist and composer from the USSR
  • Maureen Reyes, composer and pianist, professor National Union of Writers and Artists, Cuba
  • Robin Moore, ethnomusicologist, University of Texas, author of Music and Revolution, Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba

Great Additions to Our Faculty

The College of Music is pleased to welcome three outstanding faculty members to our college. Guy Yehuda; associate professor of clarinet, Sarah Long; assistant professor of musicology, and Corbin Wagner; associate professor of horn.

Guy Yehuda will join the faculty in the fall of 2013, as a member of the woodwind area that prides itself on excellence in creative activities, instruction, and outreach. An outstanding soloist and associate professor of clarinet from the University of North Florida, Yehuda brings robust experience. Competitive honors include: Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, and Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Yehuda has toured nationally and internationally with orchestras and collaborated with prominent composers and performers. He brings compelling artistry and a proven record as a committed and highly effective teacher, poised to continue the tradition of excellence that has been the hallmark of clarinet study here at MSU. Click here to read more on the announcement of his arrival and to listen to samples of his music.

Sarah Long will join our musicology area as an assistant professor beginning in fall 2013. Long received her Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2008. Most recently, she has been a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Katholike Universitiet of Leuven, Belgium, where she has overseen research on 13th-century music manuscripts. She will be teaching a variety of courses including History of Western Music Since 1750, research methods, seminars in early music, music in postcolonial contexts, as well as in African musics. Her passion for uncovering historic influences along with her scholarly approach to instruction and research will be a wonderful compliment to our team of musicologists.

Corbin Wagner, a highly regarded horn performer, teacher, and longtime member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, was appointed associate professor of horn this winter. Kansas City-born Wagner received a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Michigan and soon became a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1989 he earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining MSU, he served as adjunct horn professor at Oakland University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. An accomplished orchestral horn and chamber music performer, he brings extensive knowledge of musicianship, as well as proven effectiveness in teaching, outreach, and engagement to the College of Music and the broader community. Click here to read his bio.

CMS Detroit Video Featured in MSU’s Annual Report

Titled “Spartans Will 360,” this innovative approach for MSU’s Annual Report has earned high praise. The MSU video crew traveled four continents, visiting 10 locations from East Lansing to East Africa. One stop was the MSU Community Music School in Detroit to visit with Rhonda Buckley, CMS executive director and associate dean of the College of Music.

The video poses an intriguing question: Motown without the music? Unimaginable, but with Detroit schools facing deep cuts, music programs are becoming a rarity in the city celebrated for its musical output. Since 2009, the MSU Community Music School-Detroit has been creating music education opportunities for youth. Studies show that children who perform music are more likely to score higher on tests, succeed in school, continue on to college, and engage in their communities. MSU College of Music faculty and student mentors are sharing their gifts each week with Detroit families, demonstrating the power of community and music making.

Click here to view this impressive video.

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