Skip to main content

From the Dean

Posted by on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 in From the Dean, Spring 2009.

deanwaitIt is a pleasure to bring you news from the Blair School of Music once again. This issue of The Quarter Note goes to the very heart of what we are about as musicians. When we think about schools of music, we usually think of places where performing musicians and scholars are trained, both as performing artists and as teachers, and where concerts are given. That much is true, and it is important. 

There is another element to music, however—its actual creation. Of course, the Blair School, like most schools of music, has several wonderful composers on its faculty, and we take great pride in their work. Three years ago, however, we decided to commission works for three of our finest ensembles—the Blair String Quartet, the Blair Woodwind Quintet, and the Blakemore Trio—from nationally and internationally renowned composers. With funding from the James S. Turner Family Foundation, these commissions are becoming a reality. In addition, the Dean’s Office is funding commissions of solo works for several of our individual faculty members at Blair.

These commissions are vitally important for several reasons. First, of course, they culminate in the creation of musical works that expand and enrich the repertoire. Too often, we concentrate on music of the past while ignoring the fact that engaging new works is part of our work as artists and musicians. Secondly, these new works will bring attention to the Blair School and its excellent performing faculty, who will become the proponents of these works. All of these works will be performed not only at Vanderbilt University, but at important musical centers elsewhere. Finally, by making possible the actual creation and performance of these new works, we are reminded of the importance of music as a means of expression, as an art form in itself. And that, ultimately, is the very reason we exist as artists and as a school of music.

Dean Mark Wait