Category Archives: Director’s DIARY

A not-so-radical idea

An op-ed column in today’s paper July 11 by David Brooks reviewed the documentary film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” about the career and impact of Mr. Rogers and his wonderful children’s TV series, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The column used the phrase, “radical kindness.” It struck me deeply that this is exactly what our community desperately needs to pour out from its vast supply of human goodness.

Wise words

The Wall Street Journal on April 28 published an opinion column by Peggy Noonan. Though it was about politics, it contained some wise advice for life in general. Here are some quotes, rearranged into verse:

   Don’t lose your composure.  Don’t become sour.  Maintain your poise. 

     Maintain your own standards.  Keep on your game.  Do your best.

       Think long-term.  Speak your mind. 

         Share your heart.

Somos Musicos news celebrates anniversary

TC writes:  This month is the third anniversary of our first post at this news blog of the School of Music at Texas State. Some 200 posts have been published since July of 2014.

Previous to July of 2014, the School of Music published monthly electronic newsletters. Back issues of those can be accessed at

The School of Music continues to thrive as a vibrant center of musical and scholarly activity, and our alumni are doing great things as they serve their community.

Our Shared Values

The Provost has reminded us all of Our Shared Values as a university community, which include valuing . . .
• “A diversity of people and ideas, a spirit of inclusiveness, a global perspective, and a sense of community as essential conditions for campus life”
• “The cultivation of character and the modeling of honesty, integrity, compassion, fairness, respect, and ethical behavior, both in the classroom and beyond”
• “Engaged teaching and learning based on dialogue, student involvement, and the free exchange of ideas
• “A commitment to public service as a resource for personal, educational, cultural, and economic development”
• “Thoughtful reflection, collaboration, planning”

Clark’s Rules for Musician Success

Teaching is not so much imparting knowledge as it is facilitating learning. A teacher is an enabling coach on the sideline; all the on-field action is by the student, the learner.

From a veteran coach, here is a simple but effective playbook. Each rule is a command to action.

Rule 1:   SHOW UP.        Rule 2PAY ATTENTION.        Rule 3DO THE WORK.

Rule 4JOIN A TEAM.        Rule 5PLAN AHEAD.        Rule 6BECOME A LEADER.


Feel free to quote and pass them on!

riding a bike

Exquisite sound in Performing Arts Center

TC writes: Several splendid recent faculty concerts in our Performing Arts Center Recital Hall gave us the pleasure of hearing the live, pure sound of voices, strings, wind instruments, and piano in a wonderfully intimate acoustical space. The faculty are also commenting on their experience performing there. One said, “For a performer, the sound on stage is amazing, so incredibly clear and present. You can hear everything, the most subtle nuances. It is such an honor to perform there in what is for a musician a sacred place.”

JaffeHolden acousticians collaborated extensively with our performing artist faculty, merging their expertise with ours to create an exquisite place to make and listen to classical music. Bravi!

I invite all music lovers to come and experience great music in this beautiful place. Go to Texas State Presents for calendar and tickets.

We mourn and celebrate

TC writes:  “A major point of pride for the School of Music and Texas State is the legacy of John Stansberry. Outstanding musician and teacher, Maestro Stansberry for many years directed our bands and was instrumental in establishing the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. Countless students and colleagues consider ourselves blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him, make fine music with him, and know him as a wonderful human being. We celebrate and cherish the joy and inspiration he has given us.

John passed peacefully this morning, February 17, after many years of decline from Alzheimer’s. His spirit is flying free!

The last time I had the privilege of being with John was a few years ago, when our Wind Ensemble, which he used to direct, gave an invited performance for TMEA in the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio. John was proud of what we were carrying on of his legacy.

It turns out that five days before he died, that same top ensemble, now under the direction of Caroline Beatty, gave a spectacular concert once again for TMEA in Lila Cockrell. (See ‘Wind Symphony tours, triumphs at TMEA‘.) Again John would have been extremely proud.

And now this evening, I just heard a wonderful concert showcasing more than 100 children in our String Project, Hill Country Youth Chorale, and guests from the local Boys and Girls Clubs, playing and singing what they have learned so far this year. They are not quite ready for Carnegie Hall, but proud and full of enthusiasm for making music.

My heart swelled with love for children and love of music at all levels. And consummate music educator John Stansberry was there with us too in spirit. We are all part of a great, unending musical river of beauty and joy.

Musicians Forum features Muscle Activation then World’s Oldest Pianist

TC writes: Two special don’t-miss MUSICIANS FORUMS are coming up.

Thursday October 30 at 6:15 in the Performing Arts Center RH, Dr. Artina McCain offers insights into “Muscle Activation Techniques: A new solution to performance injury.” Somos Musicos concert follows at 7.30.

Then November 6th Faith Debow introduces “The Lady in Number 6,” an inspiring, Oscar-winning movie about pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who recently passed away at the age of 110. She had been the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor. Also 6:15 in the Performing Arts Center RH.

Band nerd wins Nobel Prize

TC writes — The Nobel Prize in chemistry has just been awarded to San Antonio native William Moerner. No, he is not a Bobcat alumnus, but the article in today’s San Antonio Express News reveals that Dr. Moerner played bassoon in the Jefferson High School Band, graduating in 1971 and going on to study mathematics and physics and to become a chemistry professor at Stanford University. Skilled, educated musicians can do anything! (And by the way, ‘band nerd’ is a badge of honor to us.)

Texas State 14th in nation

TC writes: Washington Monthly ranks Texas State University at number 14 on its list of 2014 Best Bang for the Buck rankings for Master’s Universities. The publication indicates the rankings are “based on the economic value students receive per dollar”. It is the only Texas institution listed in the top 100.