Webster Music Student Wins Regional Conducting Award
Mar. 11, 2016
ST. LOUIS – Webster University senior music education major Connor R. Scott took first place in the inaugural Student Conducting Competition, hosted by the Southwestern division of the American Choral Directors Association, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The event was held in Kansas City.
The three-round competition finished with three undergraduate conductors leading and rehearsing two pieces with a demonstration choir from Arkansas, adjudicated by choral experts from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Overall, 32 students entered the undergraduate category. Scott was awarded $250 prize money in recognition of his prowess. Other finalists were from Bethel College (Kansas) and Texas Tech. In the graduate division, both winners were from state schools in Colorado.
“I really was surprised that I won, but I have some great mentors here at Webster University, and I couldn’t have done it without them,” Scott said. “Webster University has helped me grow immensely over the past four years. I get a lot of personal attention from the faculty. A lot of larger schools don’t provide the same experience, and I am very fortunate for that.”
Scott said he first had to submit a video that demonstrated his work to be accepted into the competition. During the two-day event, Scott worked with a high school choir from Bentonville, Arkansas. While he had not met the choir prior to the competition, he knew and studied their song choices for several weeks in advance. The focus of the competition was to demonstrate conducting prowess -- gesture, ability to gain results, demonstration of musicianship -- within an 8-minute segment for each round. Scott led the choir in rehearsing two pieces of music in the semi-finals, and a different two pieces in the finals.
“I wasn’t nervous,” Scott said. “Instead, I just kept my head down and gave it my all.”
“Kudos have poured in from around Missouri,” said Webster University Professor Jeffrey Carter, who managed the competition and happens to be one of Connor’s teachers at Webster University. “Connor is a mighty impressive young man. His win reflects his strengths, and is also a sign of the training and development he received here in Webster Groves. He has fans all around the area who are delighted for this recognition too.”
Scott’s primary teachers are Trent Patterson, Director of Choral Studies and Music Education, and Martha J. Hart, Associate Professor of Voice. Scott is a current Buder Scholar in the Department of Music, and has been a Fossett Scholar — meaning he has received the two highest musical honors in the music department. He currently carries a 4.0 grade point average. He is currently student-teaching in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with Amy Krinke at Lee’s Summit West High School and plans to become a music teacher after graduating
With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University (www.webster.edu) comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.