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Music Grads Return for Alumni Concert

Former Bluefield College music students joined current BC music scholars for a three-day Alumni Choir Reunion and Concert, March 16-18, featuring recognition for longtime music professor Bryant Moxley, who inspires the voices at BC.

Chris Shoemaker

March 23, 2012

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Music professor Bryant Moxley (center) celebrates his 10th anniversary at BC with former students Kara Woodward Wikle (left) and Morgan Cassady.

 

 

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Current and former BC music students rehearse for a joint performance during the Alumni Choir Reunion and Concert weekend.

 

 

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The Alumni Choir Reunion Concert.

Designed primarily as a reunion weekend for former members of Bluefield College voice ensembles, including Variations, Bluefield Singers and Praise Singers, the weekend gathering also included a celebration of 10 years of service from Moxley, who chairs the Department of Music, directs Variations, and teaches aspiring musicians.

 

"Mox (Professor Moxley) played an important role in my life and in my family's life, so it's nice to celebrate this with him," said Leah Gilbert Harlow, a 2008 BC alumna who came back to sing and to celebrate with her former professor. "It's great to see him again and to sing again. I don't get to sing as much anymore."

 

During the celebration, Moxley spoke about the pleasure of not only seeing his former students again, but also the joy of teaching at BC over the past 10 years. He said one of the most rewarding parts of his work is "seeing students discover or learn something they didn't think was possible." That, he said, "is the joy of both teaching and making music."

 

"Each student is a unique gift," Moxley said, "and I've learned to try to value the person they are, that God has created them to be."

 

In addition to the opportunity for music alumni to reunite and to commemorate Moxley's 10th anniversary, the Alumni Choir Reunion and Concert weekend provided current students the chance to develop relationships with the former students. Together, they shared stories and traditions and watched videos of past music tours.

 

"I came just to relive the old days and to see friends I haven't seen in a while," said Jamar Bennett, a 2010 BC grad, who now helps lead the music ministry at Bland Street United Methodist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia. "I enjoyed the laughs and old jokes and being around friends."

 

The former and current music students also rehearsed music together in preparation for two weekend performances -- a concert on campus on Saturday, March 17 and a recital at Bland Street United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 18.

 

"I enjoyed seeing the former students and sharing memories and catching up on what they have been doing since Bluefield College," said Moxley, who directed the two weekend performances. "Any time I see our students reach for and discover the potential that God has for their life, I'm pleased."

 

In addition to on campus performances, Bluefield College choir members are privileged to enjoy regional and international concert tours while students at BC. In the past, they have performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. They have recorded multiple music CDs and served on music mission trips abroad. The Alumni Choir Reunion and Concert weekend was just a nice way to reminisce and relive those memories.

 

"This is a great way to reconnect," said Harlow, who now serves as a youth director at First Baptist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. "When I was at Bluefield, I wanted to graduate and start my life, but now I miss BC. I loved the atmosphere, the music, the people, the entire package when I was a student. You don't get that experience again."

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