Tuesday, October 23, 2012
So here it is Mid Semester at Morgan State University and I have taken my place on vocal faculty as the university's first Artist in Residence. I have been received with genuine warmth and sincerity from the entire institution.
I was assigned some fifteen students, all who have extraordinary vocal gifts. The vocal faculty members, are all very fine teachers and are active performing artists. Camaraderie amongst us makes for a very strong department; as head of the vocal department Vincent Dion Stringer is a gem. Totally supportive, forward thinking and creatively motivated. Always working toward helping us to turn out young artists who can step up to the plate well prepared. He wears many hats and they suite him well.
It was Vincent who sang my praises and urged the performing arts Chair to move toward hiring me as a full time faculty member.Vincent and I share a very special bond in that, some years back he asked me to be a member of his renowned "New England Spiritual Ensemble". We toured the United States and were overwhelmingly received.
Leading the company with his divine Bass Baritone his dream of preserving the African American Spiritual had become a reality. Opera Houses of the world had long been fortunate enough to hear his rich Baritone. It is that experience then, that has led us to this very special time in both our careers. Having great respect for the beauty of each others gifts.
Dr. Eric Conway is Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Conductor of The Morgan State University Choir.
His duties as administrator are overwhelming! He seems to breeze through the maze of departmental machinery with absolute aplomb. What was so exciting for me,was experiencing his musical gifts.
An accomplished Harpsichordist and Pianist of absolute excellence, I felt honored to be apart of his staff.
Both Mr. Stringer and He have made it clear, that my experience and knowledge were an important asset to Morgan State University, embracing me with love and care.
I fell in love with Baltimore when I was asked by Vincent to come and give a Master Class and later The Summer Opera Workshop, well over a year ago.
I still commute to New York to teach but my home is clearly here in Maryland. Etta and I have very busy and exciting lives. She being hired in the Maryland educational system long before myself, is head of the music department in a school for special needs children in Parksville MD. A job that requires near sainthood.
We love our new home and as for myself, Morgan State has become a second home. Beauty abounds and I'm more free than ever, in my position as " ARTIST IN RESIDENCE"