Dr. Alumquist receives Outstanding Music Faculty Award
Dr. Bradley Almquist, Murray State University Director of Choral Activities, recently received the Dr. Charles and Marlene Johnson Outstanding Music Faculty Award within the MSU Department of Music.
Almquist currently conducts the MSU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. In addition, he teaches choral conducting, choral repertory, aural skills I and II, and independent studies in conducting and choral repertory to undergraduates.
At the graduate level, Almquist teaches historical and philosophical foundations of music education, psychological foundations of music education, and the secondary program. He also conducts the Paducah Symphony Chorus, the Paducah Symphony Children’s Chorus and the Marshall County Children’s Chorus.
“I am very humbled to receive this award,” Almquist said. “We have many outstanding faculty members in the Department of Music who work very hard at teaching, scholarship and service. This is a great honor.”
Dr. Pam Wurgler, chair of the department of music, said the recipient of this award must be recognized as an outstanding teacher by students and colleagues and must also be extremely active in his professional field, both in creative activity and in service to the profession beyond the campus and Dr. Almquist most certainly fits these criteria.
“Dr. Almquist is well-respected and well-known as an outstanding teacher and leader by students and colleagues on campus, by teachers and choir students in high schools in the five-state area, and by other music educators and performers in the fields of choral music and music education nationally,” Wurgler said.
Among other things, Wurgler said Dr. Almquist is a leader in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) having just completed a term as Southern Division President. He is an active leader in the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) as well. He organizes both the High School and the Middle School Quad State Choral Festivals on campus each year. He coordinates annual Help Sessions for All-State Choir students. Along with his choirs and/or other faculty, he travels to perform at high schools to recruit for MSU. He produces and conducts choirs in the “Holidays at Murray State” video which is aired on National Public TV each year.
This past year Dr. Almquist has conducted the MSU Concert Choir, University Chorale and the Paducah Symphony Chorus in Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, at the Carson Center, Paducah, Ky. in Mozart’s “Requiem” and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. He has also made scholarly presentations at the Kentucky Music Educators Association Annual In-Service and the Mississippi Music Educators Association Vocal Conference. His articles have been published in the “Bluegrass Music News,” the Journal of the Kentucky Music Educators Association and “Interval” The Journal of the Minnesota Music Educators Association. Serving as President of the American Choral Directors Southern Division, he presented the keynote address at the Mississippi Vocal Music Conference and planned and presided over the ACDA Southern Division Conference in Memphis, Tenn. with over 3000 attendees and performers. Dr. Almquist also is a member of the faculty for the annual Sewanee Church Music Conference.
“He has given much to Murray State, and his gifts are as diverse as his interests,” Wurgler said. “Dr. Almquist is dedicated, and passionate about music and learning. He inspires his students.”
Wurlger said awards recognizing faculty members are important because they acknowledge high achievement and extra effort.
“Faculty do not work hard in order to be rewarded, but they do appreciate recognition of their accomplishments and the time and effort that produced these accomplishments,” Wurgler said. “The Johnson award is a fantastic means of saying to a faculty member; You have had an exemplary year. You have exceeded your normal high level of achievement. You have made a positive impact on the lives and goals of many others. We applaud and appreciate what you have accomplished.”
Dr. Charles and Marlene Johnson established the award in 2006 and said they are proud to recognize those professors who go above and beyond the call of duty for their students, university and community.
“Both Marlene and I graduated from Murray State and feel teachers are very hardworking people and don’t always receive the recognition they deserve,” Johnson said. “In our society, it is easy to find criticism in everything. My wife and I decided a long time ago that if someone deserves a bouquet then we will go ahead and give it to them. We are trying to bring recognition and praise annually and thank them for the outstanding job they are doing.”
Dr. Johnson is a 1956 graduate of Murray State University and a retired superintendant of schools of Livingston County, Michigan. His wife, Marlene Johnson, is a 1957 graduate of Murray State University and a retired music teacher and guidance counselor. The Johnsons are natives of Carrier Mills, Illinois. They share a great appreciation for the performing arts and higher education. Because of Marlene Johnson’s background in music, they chose this particular department for the award.
“My wife was a music major and we were both teachers,” Johnson said. “Murray state was good to us, it gave us the start to our career and the ability to move up the ladder. It also gave us the motivation to pursue higher degrees and succeed further in our careers. It seemed logical this would be the time to give back to Murray State and faculty members so we can help give others a quality education, motivation and start in life that Murray State gave us.”