On Tuesday, Sept. 14, Brock Recital Hall rolled out the red carpet as Samford professors christened the stage for the 2021-22 School of the Arts season with the annual Patty McDonald Faculty Gala.
Ashley Smith, the Marketing and Communication Manager for the School of the Arts, explained the role of the Faculty Gala is to serve as the opening event for the art season.
“It’s traditionally been the opening of the events featured on our calendar,” Smith said. “It usually invites students to attend, faculty, faculty families, outside guests, and individuals from across the Samford campus. It’s meant to launch our season,” Smith said.
From the works of Monteverdi to the compositions of Samford’s own Steven and Amanda Potaczek, this special night featured 18 performers collaborating on a total of 8 pieces. Each performance was submitted by different department members to showcase their current passions.
Interim Chair of the Division of Music Cindy St. Clair discussed the decision making process for the performers.
“We just wanted our faculty to put forth something that they feel comfortable with that just says a little bit about what they’re working on right now,” St. Clair said.
This resulted in a variety of performances such as the Samford String Quartet’s rendition of a classic Haydn piece and a multimedia experience crafted by professor Joel S. Davis.
The Faculty Gala is unique because it showcases the talents and abilities of the Samford staff, and offers the opportunity for music students to witness their professors performing together.
St. Clair shared how exhilarating it is to perform alongside her peers and especially in front of her students.
“Oh, it’s so much fun. You want to show them that we’re performers too; we’re not just teachers in the classroom,” St. Clair said. “There’s pride that you have with your students, but there’s also pride that they have for you as your teacher as well.”
St. Clair hopes that people left the event with a renewed sense of creativity and mindfulness.
“I think with COVID people are just really hungry to get back to music. I hope that something in this program touched them to their core and their heart or made them feel good and took them away,” St. Clair said.
For more information about the School of the Arts and their upcoming events, visit samford.edu/arts/events.