(Text from streaming video release on David Castonguay)
Radford University music professor David Castonguay is more than just a teacher to his students -- he is a source of inspiration.
Castonguay understands the hard work and commitment it takes to be a music major. He began his college career at the University of Connecticut as a political science major, but switched to music after he joined the college choir. He discovered that he did not want to be a musician; he needed to be a musician. In order to succeed, he had to work twice as hard as his peers with prior musical experience. Castonguay tells each student that if they really need to be a musician, they will find a way to achieve that goal. He has declared a personal mission to make certain there is beauty in the world, and he shares this mission with his students everyday.
Its a chance to experience beauty not firsthand by looking at it but by being involved in the creation of it, and thats one of those things that human beings have to do. Almost everybody whos a creative person naturally does that. But there are some of us, and I put myself in this category, people who werent naturally creative but came to it because there is a part of their soul that recognized that they need to do something that would be creative; something that would maybe bring a little bit of beauty to their life and to the lives of others.
As the Director of Choral Activities at RU, Castonguay directs the Radford Singers, the Madrigal Singers and the University Chorus. Next year, Castonguay is invited to bring a choir to Ekaterinburg, Russia to perform in a symposium on American music. Aside from his responsibilities at RU, he teaches private voice students and is sought after as a guest conductor for regional choirs.
Castonguays students affectionately refer to him as Doc, only illustrating the unique bond he establishes with them. He is able to see potential in even the most inexperienced musicians, because that is what his teachers saw in him. Modestly, Castonguay compares his own voice to a Volkswagen, although his rendition of the national anthem at high school soccer games is a rare treat for spectators.
I see students everyday that have Ferraris. Now, sometimes theyre only driving them with 6 sparkplugs in the engine instead of a V12 but our job here is to put the sparkplugs in the engine, make sure theyre hitting on all the cylinders, and that they really are achieving all of their potential And thats one of our joys.
October 29, 2003
Media contact: Jamie Nolan, (540) 831-5324