With the 2017-18 school year in full swing, Kym Scott is settling into her permanent position as director of choral activities in the West Virginia University School of Music. Scott has held the position in an interim role for the last three years.
“I wanted to stay on in the position to have the opportunity to continue this work and take advantage of the great potential here at WVU,” Scott said. “One of the things that I love about this position is the autonomy. While I feel supported by my colleagues and leaders, I also have the freedom to take the program in the direction of my choice.”
An Australian native, Scott connects with the challenges in the Appalachian region and the students it produces.
“One of the reasons I enjoy working with students at WVU is because many of them come from the region and are often first-generation college students,” Scott said. “Neither of my parents completed high school. They are both industrious, practical people who taught me the true value of hard work, but are not academic in any way. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and am the only person in my extended family to complete graduate studies. I believe that my background allows me to connect with these students and have a true understanding of the challenges associated with finding your way in the academic world.”
Scott’s approach to educating gives her students the skills and understanding to be musically literate, and also delves into deeper life skills.
“The arts are tough,” Scott said. “You need a thick skin and a strong work ethic to survive. We need to not only teach our students music, but teach them how to survive out in the real world. If they are lucky enough, and work hard enough to have a career in the arts, that is great, but many students will pursue other careers. I want to make sure they are prepared for those careers, but never lose their love of singing.”
Scott is working to expand the choral program throughout WVU.
“WVU is a very large university and one of my goals is to have more participation in the choral program from non-music majors throughout the university,” Scott said. “There are many students who participate in choir in high school but think that they need to give it up when they come to college. This is not the case and I would love to see more of these students singing in our ensembles.”
The choral program’s first concert of the semester will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 22 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Morgantown.
For more information on the choral program, contact Scott at Kym.Scott@mail.wvu.edu. Visit the full list of events from WVU’s School of Music at calendar.wvu.edu/site/ccarts/