A word "from the podium"
“Music hath the power to sway souls.” — Martin Luther
“The arts exist to convey that which cannot otherwise be conveyed.” — Robert Shaw
“The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus.” — William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Quotes about the importance of music in our lives, in our schools and in our communities abound. Why is it, then, that the arts often struggle to find a secure financial foothold? While there are examples of arts organizations that seem immune to financial instability, there are countless examples that face the possibility of insolvency. It seems that financial support for the arts is a challenge that will always be worked on but never solved.
In higher education we often hear about the emphasis on STEM education. Degree programs under this umbrella are well-funded and promise the most financial reward upon graduation. Conversely, the arts and humanities can seem an innocent luxury, and not worth assuming thousands of dollars of debt without a clearly visible path upon graduation. Professional arts organization are asking to augment STEM to STEAM, believing that the arts play a vital role in the development of the creative mind, and the fulfilled, compassionate soul.
A potential MGC donor recently asked, “Why should I support something the School of Music should be paying for?” That is a good question. The simple answer is, “Yes, you are correct. The College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Music should pay for that. But the reality is, they cannot.” The arts are expensive and there is not enough money to go around. The arts have always, and will always (I predict), depend on the generosity of donors for support.
As I enter the twilight of my teaching career, my emphasis will be threefold: continuing to offer high-level performances with the Men's Glee Club, helping MGC members become better musicians and citizens of the world, and doing what I can to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization. That long-term stability will come, in part, through the generosity of MGC alumni. Please consult this MGC page to see the existing funds that support the MGC’s music-making and long-term goals. And as you consider making a gift, keep in mind the MGC philosophy of benevolence: don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good.
Robert J. Ward
Undergraduate: MUSIC 2203.04
Graduate: MUSIC 7203.04
Classes meet MWF 4:10–5:05 p.m.
Hughes 100 (Auditorium)
Robert J. Ward, Director of Choral Studies