“The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.”
Change is in the air.
As of August 15, 2019, I will be Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL. This change will bring me closer to home and allow Ariel’s blood to unfreeze for the first time in six years. I’ll be working alongside one of my best friends in the world to build on a tremendous foundation and tradition of musical excellence. JU has recently installed a visionary new President and promoted their former choir director to Dean of the newly christened Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts. Excitement and support for choral music abound.
“A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.”
I am so thankful to Curry College for taking a chance on an untested, ABD graduate student five years ago. From day one, my colleagues encouraged me to get involved, and I took their advice. After a year on the Budget Committee, I was surprised when Diane Webber asked me to consider running for Faculty Chair, and shocked when the faculty elected me to that role. I have never learned so much so fast in my life, and that includes three years of doctoral coursework. Since then, we have dreamed about a school of arts and sciences, planned strategically, and envisioned new manners of faculty governance. I am a better leader as a result.
I’ve taught all kinds of electives, rewritten curriculum, and worked with students from across the college, many of whom were having their first experience with music. This has made me a better teacher.
I have benefited from so many collaborations:
Dance and Visual Art Concerts (like the ones coming up this weekend)
Guest Artists (like “The Voice &…” Workshops)
First Year Inquiry (I’ll always be a Monster)
Athletics (the best hockey game experiences begin with singing)
Mass ACDA Intercollegiate (Bach, Purcell, Haydn, Orff, Faure, and Dr. Dennis Slaughter)
Curry is a place that values teamwork, and it has made me a better teammate.
Triad: Boston’s Choral Collective has also played an important role in making this move possible. For one, it provided a fantastic topic for my dissertation. Our repertoire has forced me to become a better singer, while pushing my conducting and rehearsal techniques to accommodate their varied demands. Triad’s performances and recordings of so many pieces are directly connected to most of the awards and commissions I’ve received in the past few years. Many composers dream of being able to write for such capable, open-minded, and devoted performers, but I have been blessed to do so repeatedly. Most importantly, the videos of my conducting the ensemble were a key part of my application to JU. (Be sure to join us for our concerts on May 11 and 12. I’ll try not to cry.)
“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
I will miss my Curry students, with whom I have traveled, laughed, cried, and struggled. Hopefully, along the way they have found their voice in music—if so, I have done my job, and they no longer need me. These kinds of changes are bittersweet, but I’ve always been the type to walk through open doors. Leaving home for the University of Tennessee was difficult, but so was moving to Virginia…and Alabama…and Kentucky…and Massachusetts. I am overjoyed that this time, Ariel will be along for the ride. Whatever the future holds, I know there will be adventure, love, and music.
Oh, and also the World of Harry Potter…because…Florida.
“If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.”
Quotations from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran