Moriah Mason / Staff Writer
Samford’s School of the Arts allows students to become exposed to different kinds of arts, including musicals, theatrical productions, choir performances and faculty recitals.
The Arts department also allows for several of the faculty members to be able to show their own talents. Such is the case with university organist and lecturer, Frederick Teardo.
On Jan. 30, Teardo performed at Reid Chapel. Teardo said his main goal is for the audience to feel awed by the soundscape of the organ and the drama and beauty of the music.
“My greatest hope is that people walk away from this concert hearing something they have never heard before that truly inspired them, and that makes them want to hear the organ again and again,” Teardo said.
In his Samford Arts biography, Teardo is listed as the Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as an Instructor of Organ and University Organist at Samford University. As he has progressed through this career, he has earned several degrees and has taken first place in several competitions.
Teardo said he has always felt called to this profession from a young age and the first time that he heard an organ played, he knew that God had called him for this profession.
“It was a true calling,” said Teardo. “For a long while, I aspired and trained to be a performer and an academic for the most part, and while I do some of that still (actively performing solo recitals and teaching at Samford,) the path God has laid out for me has largely been serving him through music ministry.”
Along his journey, Teardo has learned from many mentors who have shown him different perspectives.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that, like many things in life, music and its performance/interpretation is very subjective and gray, and that we sell ourselves short when we try to make it definitive, or black and white,” Teardo said.
He said he has also learned the importance of asking questions and reinterpreting when it comes to music.
While he has learned different lessons and achieved success in his career, he has also come across many challenges. Teardo advises all students to persevere and to keep the arts relevant in our culture.
“Stand in the face of a culture where the arts seem to be becoming less and less relevant, and defy it,” Teardo said, “Let music and art speak for itself. Try not to get in the way of it, but rather, serve as its vehicle. That’s not to diminish artistic license, of course, but we all have a responsibility to preserve what we love and hold near and dear to our hearts.”
Teardo said he desires to accomplish more, specifically in spreading the gospel through the music industry and educate future generations of organists, choral conductors and music ministers as well as congregations, in order to enable the awareness and practice of traditional sacred music.