Music department adds classes to the curriculum
Over the course of the past semester, very many changes have occurred within the music department.
Associate Professor and music department chair Mark Humphrey came to the university from the West Coast at the beginning of the semester.
After living in California for 11 years, Humphrey was ready to come back to his Southern roots and bring his knowledge and expertise to share with the campus.
“I had been looking for a position like this where I could guide a department,” Humphrey said. “I really wanted to take us into pop culture and pop music, but also a new direction just in terms of relevance in a lot of different areas.”
Students in the department are very excited about the new ideas which are being added to the program.
“The changes that have happened in the music department over the last year have been phenomenal,” junior church music and music education major Cameron Roucloux said.
A new choral director last year, helped jump-start the many changes that would be taking place.
“Dr. Michelle Rouche, breathed life back into the department and the students,” he said. “She brings such a passion and demand of excellence to the department and sets the bar high with all of us.”
A few of the new things that have happened this semester are classes have been added to the curriculum for music majors, the addition of a band to One Voice, new iMac lab, new classroom training and experience and more use of social media.
Students outside of the music department are happy about the changes and think it will enhance the department.
“Even though I’m an education major, I think all the additions to the program are great. They were in need of some updating, and I’m happy they have received them,” junior elementary education major Meredith Davis said.
Humphrey is working on instituting more things he is passionate about.
“A lot of my work has also been in film, television and Christianity in culture. I’m hoping to help a conversation about … faith and culture, especially the arts, and how those things interact,” he said.
Humphrey wanted to bring more of the current culture and time into the education that music majors will now be able to receive.
“Dr. Humphrey is all about no separation between the arts, Christianity and culture and receiving an education that allows you to be well versed in the academic aspects of music,” Roucloux said, “and also being able to relate that to what is current in our culture and our music world is something you can’t put a price on.”
One thing that Humphrey wants to encourage is the cohesiveness and the university’s becoming a unified worship community.
Roucloux said “We are called to be the body of Christ, and I think that analogy works well on the smaller scale at UMHB. We all serve our purpose at the school, but if we never come together to worship, sing, eat, hang out or talk with other people in different walks of life, we severely limit the way that God can use us because we are not unified.”
Humphrey said becoming a unified group will not only help the university greatly, but also be able to impact the world in various ways.
“I think having a more cohesive worship community crossing the boundaries of departments at the school would only allow us to accomplish greater things as individuals, departments and as a school in reaching the community around us for the cause of Christ.”
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