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Noted conductor Waters on campus for two weeks as Acuff Chair

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Internationally recognized conductor Willie Anthony Waters is visiting Austin Peay State University for the next two weeks as the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence. Waters will spend his time working with APSU student singers and accompanists and the APSU orchestra.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Internationally recognized conductor Willie Anthony Waters is visiting Austin Peay State University for the next two weeks as the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence. Waters will spend his time working with APSU student singers and accompanists and the APSU orchestra.

Waters began his career as the artistic assistant to Kurt Adler, director of San Francisco Opera, and he has more than 40 years of experience working with major opera companies, opera luminaries and orchestras on four continents—North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. In 1999, Waters was appointed general and artistic director of the Connecticut Opera Association, the country’s sixth oldest opera company. He was also chosen by the Metropolitan Opera to present a tribute to the career of soprano Leontyne Price during the 2007 re-broadcast of her historic 1967 Met performance of “Aȉda.” 

“Maestro Waters is a very thorough and highly accomplished musician who works with students passionately with an humble, calm spirit,” Gail Robinson-Oturu, APSU professor of voice, said. “With his depth of knowledge, one can glean a lot. We are indeed fortunate to have him.”

Established in 1985 by the legendary “King of Country Music” Roy Acuff, the chair is an endowed professorship designed to bring regionally and nationally acclaimed artists together with students, faculty and community members in a creative environment. The chair, administered through the University’s Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts, rotates each year between different creative arts department at APSU, with the Department of Music hosting it this year.

During his residency, titled “Magical Moments are not Magic: Performance Preparation from a Conductor’s Point of View,” Waters will work with APSU students, faculty and staff in approaching vocal literature and career preparation. He will offer two master classes, two lectures on Puccini and Strauss operas, individually coach students, give a talk on “The Business of Music” and have informal “chat and chew” sessions with students about careers or other topics of interests.

For more information about the Acuff Chair Excellence or upcoming performances and lectures, contact the CECA at 221-7876 or the APSU Department of Music at 221-7818.