Course improvement grant spotlight: Choral Library Modernization
Tucker Biddlecombe, associate professor of choral studies and director of choral activities, recently talked with CFT assistant director Julaine Fowlin about his Course Improvement Grant, “Choral library modernization.” The Vanderbilt library has a collection of choral music that has been kept for many years by a student organization chorus called the concert choir; this goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. Most of the choral music that is in that library is decades old. While old is not a bad thing, scholarship and music have evolved since the middle of the 20th century. Also, the Choral studies curriculum aims for diverse representation and emphasizes composers of color, who represent different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. They have also been putting a greater focus on composers, who are women. In the video interview, Tucker shares his passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion and how he will use the course improvement grant to purchase more music representing a greater cross-section of Vanderbilt university and our musical community. Tucker encourages other faculty members not to be intimidated by the grant application process as it is simple. He also shares that there is an opportunity for everyone, whether your project is big or small, and each faculty should see it as the first step toward greater teaching and professional fulfillment. His teaching philosophy is that everyone has a skill to bring, and it is his job to find it and create that melting pot of a chorus, which can be a challenge, but this continues to be a joy for him each year.