Movements, Fall 2019
Read the latest alumni news from Fall 2019.
Sept. 25, in Daniel Recital Hall, Chuck Dillard ’98 and mezzo-soprano Page Stephens presented the Southeast piano/vocal premiere of “The White Album” by Furman Professor Mark Kilstofte. Dillard served on the Furman faculty as instructor of music theory and staff pianist from 2001 to 2005. He is currently professor of collaborative piano at Portland State University. In the field of opera, Dillard has a broad range of experiences as a conductor, coach and pianist, working for the Austin Opera, Opera Carolina, Central City Opera, Piedmont Opera and others.
Maggie (Battcher) Hollis ’03 was recently hired as the adjunct flute instructor at Middle Georgia State University and Wesleyan College, both in Macon, Georgia. She maintains a flute studio of college, high school and middle school students in the middle Georgia area. She also recently joined the Mercer University Flute Choir, a group of college students and community members that performs at local, national and regional conferences.
Scott C. Tobias ’92 serves as director of bands and associate professor of music at West Virginia University. He also serves as president of the National Band Association and vice president of the Big 12 Band Directors Association. The West Virginia University Wind Symphony made its Carnegie Hall debut in March 2018 and will embark on an eight-day performance tour of China in May 2020.
Upstate Brass Project
Several Furman music alumni in the Spartanburg, South Carolina, area are part of a new symphonic brass ensemble called the Upstate Brass Project. The group was formed in the fall of 2018 and is currently working on a concert to be held Nov. 17 at Converse College. The co-directors are Furman alumni John Holloway ’77 and Bobby Powell ’60. Also playing in the group are Mike Miller ’82 and Spencer Nance ’12. The group performs original works and transcriptions for large brass ensemble.
Graham McBride ’15 has served as band director at League Academy in Greenville for five years. A music education graduate, McBride chose to become an instructor after getting the chance to teach while attending Furman. WYFF News 4 caught up with McBride and some of his students, who give their instructor and mentor rave reviews. The Microsoft News website also carried the story.
The Furman Singers Alumni Choir, conducted by Hugh Floyd and Bing Vick, performed at First Baptist Church Greenville on Aug. 4. The Singers were accompanied by organist Paul Thomas and pianist Nancy Lyons Smith. View the Singers’ performance.