Tag Archives: Music

Wendy Williams teaching at the SRELC

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) is a 2019 recipient of Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award. She is seen here giving a “high-five” to a student at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Kathryn Nobles teaches Kindermusik

Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), right, has been sharing the gift of music with local children and Berry students for 30 years.

Ever wonder about the young children you see walking to and from the Ford Buildings with their parents? No, they aren’t prodigies pursuing Berry degrees – at least not yet – but they are tuning up for success with help from Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) and Kindermusik.

This fall marks 30 years since Nobles brought Kindermusik to Berry. What started as a pilot program with nine students from the Berry College Child Development Center has blossomed into multiple classes serving more than 200 children annually at four locations in Rome. Distinguished both by its size and quality of instruction, Berry ranks among the top 25 Kindermusik programs worldwide. In addition, Williams recently received Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award for her work with students at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

On Sept. 14, alumni and friends of the program will join current students and teachers for a special 30th anniversary celebration in Ford Dining Hall. The fun gets underway at 10 a.m. with an “instrument petting zoo” staged by Berry music students and continues through 1 p.m., with activities for the children and a Noon performance by the Viking Drumline. Register online.

Efforts are also underway to name the Kindermusik room in Berry’s newly renovated music department for Nobles, with gifts supporting the ongoing Ford Auditorium renovation and restoration. Visit berry.edu/gift and select “Kathryn Nobles Kindermusik Room Naming” if you wish to contribute.

Originating in Germany in the 1970s, Kindermusik combines a variety of music education methods with the goal of helping children learn. Studying musical concepts helps children gain skills that transfer to other aspects of life. For example, developing steady beat can translate to improved reading fluency, cutting with scissors or even dribbling a basketball.

“Music is such a great avenue for teaching,” Nobles expressed. “It’s universal. You can make music anywhere you go, and there’s not an age limit to it.”

Nobles, who also serves as an adjunct piano instructor for Berry students, has kept up with many of her Kindermusik graduates, proudly noting that some have gone on to careers in music, while others have become organic farmers, doctors or lawyers. Quite a few have returned as parents of children within the program, and some have attended college at Berry.

The program remains a touchstone for many, with families of college-aged children still attending concerts together after meeting through Kindermusik years earlier. And toddlers now in the program continue to wake up and excitedly ask the same question as those who came before them: “Is today a Kindermusik day?”

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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Bob and Betty Anne Rouse Bell

Betty Anne Rouse Bell (52H, 56C), pictured with husband Bob, has distinguished herself as a performer and advocate for the arts.

Betty Anne Rouse Bell’s lifelong love of music and drama was cultivated as a high school and college student at Berry in the 1950s, so it’s entirely fitting that future students find similar inspiration in a place named in her honor.

The Betty Anne Rouse Bell Recital Hall is the first major naming associated with plans to renovate and restore Ford Auditorium as a first-class venue for Berry students, faculty and the community at large. The naming of the performance space inside the historic facility was made possible by a touching act of love by Bell’s husband, Bob, who surprised his wife with a gift to Berry honoring her powerful love and appreciation for the school. Combined with the generosity of many other alumni and friends, that gift has helped push fundraising for the $6.3 million Ford project past the $4 million mark. Berry officials hope to complete funding by May 2019 so that work can begin.

Architectural Rendering of Ford RenovationPlans for the auditorium – constructed in the 1920s at the direction of Henry and Clara Ford – include the restoration of beloved historic architectural elements and significant internal renovations meant to enhance the acoustical experience for performers and audience members alike. Expertise has been provided by Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago, one of the nation’s foremost acoustics consulting firms. The project also calls for refurbishment of the music department.

The recital hall naming is fitting recognition for a “double alumna” (52H, 56C) who has distinguished herself as a performer – sharing her vocal talents with presidents, governors and foreign dignitaries, among others – and advocate for the arts. Click here to read more.

If you would like to join the Bells and so many others in supporting the Ford project, please visit berry.edu/gift.

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Berry Singers in Europe

Berry Singers Sightseeing in Europe

Above and right: The Berry Singers during their European tour.

The Berry Singers took their talents on the road during spring break, performing in the Czech Republic and Austria as part of their first European tour in several years.

Preparations for the trip began in the fall. Gifts from alumni, faculty and friends of Berry’s music program helped to fund the experience.

Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Dr. Paul Neal said he hopes to take a large trip like this every three to four years so that each class of students has the opportunity to perform abroad at least once during their time at Berry.

“Music is the universal language,” Neal said. “It’s an opportunity for them to experience emotions and the fine arts through music and share that connection with people in other countries.”

The students performed at many different churches, schools and theaters during their European adventure. Selections ranged from songs by European composers such as Mozart and Dvorák to American standards including Georgia On My Mind and Shenandoah.

At each stop, students had the opportunity to broaden their own horizons by exploring the cities in which they were performing.

“I really enjoyed bonding with the rest of the choir and getting to experience some super cool stuff with a super cool group of people,” said sophomore Jameson Filston, who was making his first trip to Europe. “It was a really amazing experience.”

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Stan PethelProfessor of Music and former Chair of Fine Arts Dr. Stan Pethel may be retiring this spring after 43 years at Berry, but he certainly isn’t going quietly. Hundreds of alumni and friends gathered April 3 to celebrate his musical legacy with a rousing “All-Pethel” concert in Ford Auditorium.

Drawn from a diverse catalog of more than 1,200 compositions published by Pethel during his distinguished career, the set list featured a variety of selections ranging from trumpet solos to choral works (and most everything in between). The longtime Berry faculty member was happy to go to the effort of sifting through all that music, noting, “It’s nice to be recognized by great colleagues and students for my work over the years.”

Although Pethel is retiring from full-time teaching, his many Berry friends won’t have to look very hard to find him – at least during high school basketball season. The Northwest Georgia Tip-Off Club’s 2016 Referee of the Year has no plans to hang up his striped-shirt and whistle just yet.

Story by Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications senior student writer

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Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins

Architectural rendering of the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins, slated for construction later this year.

Giving to LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity has now surpassed $91 million! This includes more than $43 million in commitments for Gate of Opportunity and general use scholarships. We are truly grateful to everyone in the Berry community who has supported the campaign to date. A special shout out goes to our alumni, whose gifts account for nearly half the campaign total. Thank you for your support!

Highlights in 2015 included the opening of two major campaign priorities – the new campus Welcome Center and Valhalla stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field – and Audrey Morgan’s $1 million challenge commitment to fast-track fundraising for the renovation of Blackstone Hall and construction of a new campus theatre. There was also further development of initiatives within Berry’s Integrity in Leadership and Entrepreneurship centers.

Construction of two other campaign-funded projects – the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins and an event pavilion at Oak Hill – is on tap for 2016. In addition, fundraising is underway for Ford Auditorium’s renovation as a recital hall and construction of an animal science addition for McAllister Hall.

Visit www.berry.edu/lifeready to learn more about the various priorities, and thanks again for helping to make the dream of a “life-ready” education a reality for our students!

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Kris CarlisleThe hits just keep coming for Associate Professor of Music Kris Carlisle. Recently, the chair of Berry’s fine arts department added The American Prize in Piano Performance Special Judge’s Citation: “Championing Piano Music by American Composers” to his impressive list of awards and honors. His winning CD,  The American Evolution: Piano Sonatas, is part of a larger project exploring the way contemporary composers explore traditional genres.

In addition, Carlisle has been named chair of the Georgia Music Educators Association’s Piano Division for 2016-17.

Visit www.kriscarlisle.com to enjoy a sampling of his music.

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Paul NealHarry MusselwhiteBerry’s music department will experience a changing of the guard this fall as Dr. Paul Neal (left) assumes the role of director of choral activities in place of Harry Musselwhite, who is retiring after 30 years.

Neal will join the Berry faculty after completing his tenure at Valdosta State University, where he oversees the choral program and serves as assistant director for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. His impressive resume also includes service as assistant conductor for the Angeles Chorale, one of the largest community choruses in the Los Angeles area, and as musical director for the Texas Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he spent two seasons as a performer for the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale.

While Musselwhite’s long tenure at Berry will soon draw to a close, he has no plans to slow down. Rather, this new chapter in his life will provide the perfect opportunity to pursue other creative interests.

“I am going full-time into the film and television professions as an actor, director and producer,” he said. “I already have a heavy schedule of auditions, as well as producing.”

He also hopes to finish the second edition of his children’s book.

Musselwhite will take up his Berry baton for the last time Sunday, April 12, when he leads the Berry Concert Choir and Berry Singers in a 3 p.m. performance at the college chapel. After retiring, he will relocate to the Southwest to join his wife, Dr. Laura Gilstrap Musselwhite (89C), the chief academic officer and dean of instruction for the University of New Mexico – Valencia.

A retirement party will be held Saturday, April 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harvest Moon in Rome. Alumni wishing to attend should contact Jennifer Tucker Beard (93C, 00G).

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Kathryn NoblesKathryn Dugger Nobles (82C) has been named a Maestro in Outstanding Achievement by Kindermusik International, the world’s leading publisher of music and movement programs for young children. The Maestro Conductor’s Circle represents the top 1 percent of Kindermusik educators worldwide. The longtime Berry faculty member celebrates her 25th anniversary with Kindermusik this fall. As director of Berry’s program, she and her colleagues serve more than 150 families each week with classes for children birth to age 7. They also provide valuable work experience for Berry students, several of whom have made Kindermusik their career.

Nobles’ role as educator extends to her work as adjunct lecturer (piano) in Berry’s fine arts department. Recently, she enjoyed an impromptu reunion with former students and other alumni during a trip to Oregon. Pictured left to right are Rachel Floyd Davis (07C), Michael Smith (04C), Kelly Rusk Smith (06C) and baby Judson, Thomas Clark (05C), Kathryn Nobles, Carrie Nobles (16c), Stephen Williams (86C, 90G), Alyssa Nobles (12C), Beth Dodson Williams (86C, 90G), and Randy Nobles (80C, 85G).

 By Carey Blankenship, philanthropic communications student editorial assistant

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Stan Pethel and Mary OutlawDr. Stan Pethel (far left) has been presented with an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Plus Award in recognition of his distinguished career in music. The longtime professor of music and past chair of Berry’s fine arts department boasts an impressive 1,200 musical works in print for choirs, orchestras, symphonic bands, brass ensembles, and solo instruments with piano. Also earning praise this fall was Dr. Mary Outlaw, a longtime member of Berry’s teacher education faculty who was honored with the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching.

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