November 30, 2020

Music department influences new melodies over decade

By: Sam Baker

Over the last 10 years, the music department has changed faculty, classes, and coursework. What’s never changed is the core of the program: the love of music.

Glen Bauer, the associate chair of music at Webster University, has spent over 30 years as part of the faculty. His experience with music reaches well beyond the Webster Groves campus.

Bauer’s time with the St. Louis Symphony, along with his vast knowledge of music theory, has helped him contribute to transforming the music department over the decade.

“We certainly have a greater number of students,” Bauer said. “The faculty of the Department of Music has changed very much in the last 10 years. We have hired eight new faculty members in that time, largely due to the retirements of faculty.”

The music department continues to grow by looking back through its program’s history and reviewing old coursework.

“The Department of Music is continually reviewing, scrutinizing and revising our programs,” Bauer said.“Most recently, we reduced the number of programs within the department through the consolidation of related areas.”

A lot of Webster University’s curriculum is based around contemporary trends in music.

Eli Guzman is a musician and DJ who produces his own music as a freelance artist. The Webster sophomore is an audio production major in the school’s music department. He was enrolled in a new course called Fundamentals of Music.

Music department influences new melodies over the last decade

Graphic by Nermina Ferkić

“I think it’s really cool how we can learn about any type of genre and they’re teaching us right upfront about all these types of genres,” Guzman said.

Hoping to one day produce his own music, Guzman is taking both music and technical audio classes. He felt these classes would expand his academic vocabulary, especially in his industry of audio production.

“It’s really great that we’re implementing these new ideas to help audio students in this constantly developing field,” Guzman said.

Not every person who takes music classes is a music major. Webster senior Meredith Sowers is one of those students. Sowers started at Webster in 2016. A criminology major, Sowers is a member of the music department’s ensemble. She adds that there are many non-music majors in the ensemble.

Stuart Chapman Hill leads the ensemble Sowers is in.

“I’ve seen the choir grow in the past four years off of the level of difficulty of music that Dr. Hill has entrusted with,” Sowers said. “I’ve been affected only in a positive way by the music program.”

She added that she still soaks in everything that she can from rehearsals and performances.

For 94 years, Webster University’s Music Department has been a part of the school’s ever-growing educational programs. Since 1915, the music department has been instructing students to become better musicians.

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