Department of Music convocation kicks off semester

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill.

With the 2016 academic year just more than a week old, the department of Music, along with President Brian O. Hemphill, welcomed the students, faculty and donors at the Fall 2016 Departmental Convocation.

Department of Music Chair Al Wojtera introduced Hemphill to almost 175 Radford students, faculty, staff and administrators by saying: “Every time I’ve heard him speak it hasn’t been about my vision, it’s always been our vision. We are doing this together.”

Hemphill thanked two longtime department of Music donors, Johann Norstedt and Myrl Jones, by saying, “We are dependent upon the generosity of individuals that step forward and invest in this institution by investing not only their time and ability, but also their treasure.”

Hemphill then invited the department to join him in the journey to fulfill his vision of “transforming Radford into an innovative, premier university in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a keen focus on teaching, research and service.”

Hemphill praised the faculty, staff and students within the department of Music.

“You are part of an outstanding university and a dynamic department,” said Hemphill.

Hemphill outlined four principles that will help lead Radford University toward the collective vision: excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness.

“We can’t speak in theory about what a student needs without a single student in the room,” Hemphill said. “We need to make sure that you are in the room and engaged in the conversations as we think of how we can advance this great University.”

Hemphill also called for campus-wide engagement from the department of Music students.  

“I want to encourage you to get involved,” Hemphill said. “Be engaged on this campus. Not only in the classroom, but outside of the classroom. Find opportunities to engage in things beyond your discipline.”

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Cara Modisett on piano (left) and Johann and Marilyn Norstedt Scholarship for Voice recipient Zoë Jones on vocals (center) performing "Endless Pleasure" during the 2016 Department of Music Convocation.

Hemphill encouraged students to be involved beyond the confines of the campus.

“Take every opportunity to embrace this exciting adventure that you’re on here at Radford University,” Hemphill said. “Take every opportunity to engage with the community and experience things that you haven’t had the opportunity to experience before.”

Hemphill didn’t want the main purpose of a student to be forgotten.

“It is so important to get to know your faculty,” Hemphill said. “Engage with your faculty. There is so much that you will learn from them. Take advantage of their wisdom, their experiences and what they are going to teach you.”

The Convocation’s program included performances of “An Alm for the Love of God” on guitar by Professor Robert Trent; “Endless Pleasure,” sung by the Johann and Marilyn Norstedt Scholarship for Voice recipient Zoë Jones and featured Cara Modisett on piano; and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” featuring Professor Wayne Gallops on piano.

Prior to his performance, Trent said that “no art comes into creation from a vacuum.”

Before leaving, Hemphill shared his optimism for Radford University’s future.

“I’m very optimistic about the future of this institution because I’ve had the opportunity to look in the eyes of our faculty, our staff and the students,” Hemphill said. “Students, I missed you all in my first 60 days. Campus was very quiet without you. We’re happy to have you back.”

Following the convocation, the department hosted a reception in the Covington Center.

Sep 8, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749