Music department selects full-time professor


In the fall 2011 semester, Webster’s Music Department will have a new addition; Martha Hart will join Webster’s music faculty starting next August.

With a rich resume of work not only as a performer,  but as an instructor, Webster’s music department is very excited to have Hart here next year.

Hart heard about the national search to fill the assistant professor of voice position and decided to apply. Hart said she found the faculty she’d be working with was a group of talented musicians.

After 23 years of teaching at Graceland University in Iowa and the past year at Ohio State University, Hart said Webster is a “middle ground” between the two.

She described Graceland as a very small campus, Ohio as a large campus and Webster in the middle. She was looking for a sustainable amount of staff members in an intimate atmosphere, which she found in Webster’s Music Department.

Trent  Patterson, director of Choral Studies and Music Education, said Hart’s application  was “outstanding,”  and caught the board’s eye. He said the combination of performance and her record of teaching at a college level was impressive.

Her teaching record doesn’t only include her experience at Graceland and Ohio State but also teaching across the country.

Her strong national reputation made her stand out to the search committee, which included Patterson and other Webster Music Department Faculty members, including, Carole Gaspar, Daniel Schene, Glen Bauer and Dee Pavelka.

“She’s a wonderful human being and great teacher,” Patterson said.

Hart isn’t a retired performer either. She said even though her 2010-2011 season was busy, she doesn’t plan to slow down next year.

Hart said one of the most important reasons why she was drawn to Webster was the active staff. She loves performing and wants to be surrounded by those who share the same passion.

“Performing opportunities are exciting,” said Hart. “Performing keeps me connected and aids my teaching.”

She believes when musicians continue performing, they continue understanding. Hart said the learning process is never done and there is always room for improvement, even when someone has talent.

“All musicians are works in progress” she said.

Since she’d spent 23 years at Graceland and only one at Ohio, the question of how long she planned to stay at Webster came up during the interview.

Hart said that her length of stay is really hard to determine.  Though she hasn’t lived in St. Louis before, she said she assumes it isn’t going to be a great shift from Columbus, Ohio.

After finishing her year at Ohio State University in June, Hart will be moving to St. Louis at the end of July in time to start her new career at Webster.

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