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WV native Bill Withers dies at age 81

West Virginia native singer-songwriter Bill Withers died Monday, March 30, in Los Angeles from complications related to heart disease. 

Known for such songs as “Lean on Me,” “Just the Two of Us,” and “Lovely Day,” Withers was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia on July 4, 1938, and spent much of his young life in Beckley. Withers received an honorary doctorate from West Virginia University in 2017.

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Creative Arts Center renamed in honor of Canady leadership gift

When students return to campus, the beloved home of the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts will have a new name in honor of a leadership gift from the Valerie Canady Charitable Foundation. Beginning today, the former Creative Arts Center on WVU’s Evansdale campus will be known as the Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts Center.

The newly established Canady Fund for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts will provide for arts programming, educational enrichment opportunities, building improvements and discretionary support to benefit students, faculty and staff within the College of Creative Arts.

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WVU students participate in Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra

Three students from West Virginia University in February participated in The Mid Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra.

MACJO is the premier performing and networking honor group for select collegiate jazz musicians in the Mid-Atlantic region. MACJO was founded in 2009 as an initiative of the Cumberland Jazz Society.

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WVU to host special concert, make announcement on March 24

The Canady Chamber Series was established by the Valerie Canady Charitable Foundation in 2018 in order to bring in professional chamber musicians to perform and teach for WVU students and the Morgantown community.

“The Canady family has long supported artistic presentations of the highest quality to benefit the CCA and broader Morgantown Community,” said Dean Keith Jackson. “As with previous initiatives, the importance of guaranteeing significant interactions between artists and CCA students is what makes the Canady Chamber Series unique as it includes tremendous performances and the opportunity for our students to work with full-time performers that are outside of their normal sphere of influence.”

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WVU announces music and health degree

Students who have a passion for music but also want a career in healthcare can now study both disciplines with a new degree program at West Virginia University. WVU will be one of the first universities in the nation with a music and health undergraduate program.

The Bachelor of Science in Music and Health is unique in that it provides students with an opportunity to be a music major while pursuing one of six tracks in the health sciences. Music and Health majors can select a medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry or physician assistant track within the program.

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Szilagyi Family Foundation gives to WVU Wind Symphony

When the West Virginia University Wind Symphony takes the stage in China, they will be doing so, in part, thanks to the Szilagyi Family Foundation. 

Imre and Janet Szilagyi, of Kingwood, spent their life building Appalachian Wildwaters, a whitewater rafting company that guided guests down the New, Gauley and Cheat Rivers in West Virginia. When they retired, the Szilagyis created their Foundation as a way to give back while celebrating their successful careers.

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WVU Symphony Orchestra partners with piano festival

2019 is the first year the concert engagement is offered as part of the grand prize for the piano festival, which began in 2015. The festival typically brings in more than 100 entries from around the world, with more than 20 pianists selected as finalists coming to Morgantown for the competition.

“We are quite certain that this partnership will bring great benefit to the Morgantown cultural community,” said Ching-Wen Hsiao, assistant professor of piano at WVU. “It will help grow the international reputation of the competition, the WVU School of Music and help to further establish Morgantown as a vibrant center of music.”

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WVU seeks to build Pride of West Virginia Practice Facility

An institution at West Virginia University for more than 100 years, the Mountaineer Marching Band will one day have a home of its own. WVU and dedicated alumni are working together to pursue a practice facility for the 330-member West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band.

The practice facility is supported by the College of Creative Arts, WVU Athletics and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. It will be a much-needed upgrade for The Pride of West Virginia – their current practice space is a parking lot at WVU’s Coliseum. The new facility will be located on the Evansdale campus, replacing Hawley Field, the old home of WVU Baseball.

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Darko Velichkovski to present at USASBE in 2020

The Music Industry Program Director at West Virginia University will take the stage twice during the annual United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference in New Orleans in January 2020.

Darko Velichkovski will present “Artists Management Course – A Method Approach” and “University Record Label as Experiential and Interdisciplinary Co-Curricular Entrepreneurship Platform.”

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