My favorite place on campus has to be the stage of the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre in the newly opened Moss Arts Center. We often think of the performance hall as just that. A sacred place, visited only when we are about to crown our work. While this is true for our audience, more so it is a vital classroom for our students. Our students, for years, have deserved a world-class classroom in which they can share, create, perform, and most importantly learn. To be fortunate enough to see this dream, that pre-dates me, come to fruition has been a genuine pleasure. Its impact as a space has the potential to be immeasurable for past, present, and future Hokie musicians and artists.
While most everyone’s experiences in the space have been rather limited due to the infancy of the hall, I already have some vivid and special memories of the performances and collaborative efforts that I have been able to share in that space. In fact, the most wonderful moment I shared in that space happened backstage. Nothing has been more rewarding in that building than seeing the students and my colleagues radiate with smiles in celebration of a tremendous performance as they come off the stage.
There are many things to love about a career in the arts, and a few to be challenged by. However, I keep coming back to the challenge to inspire both the students and myself to be better artists, more passionate advocates, compassionate colleagues, and better citizens. I’m so lucky that I am able to work on this daily, and while most of the time it is difficult work, I believe it is worthwhile work that I love!