I find it quite delightful that my favorite time of year — especially here in Virginia, where trees compete in a beauty pageant each fall — is also the designated season to host one of my favorite collegiate events: Homecoming. I’m sure Homecoming holds even more charm for the many alumni who return to a campus full of memories and to reunite with friends, but even those of us for whom Southern Virginia is still home can sense the camaraderie and spirit of this particular weekend.
Friday evening, I had the opportunity to meander through the Corridor Gallery and admire an exhibit featuring Southern Virginia’s Tucson House, the building in which all of our artists make their mark. The exhibit was produced by student and art major Megan Reynolds, who is currently serving a full-time mission in Texas.
I spoke to Professor Doug Himes about Megan’s work, and he informed me that she completed the work over a year ago and that it’s the result of a semester’s worth of work and effort. And let me tell you — it paid off. Granted, my artistic skill is limited to the realm of stick figures, but I think it safe to say I can admire alongside the best of them, and Megan’s work is truly admirable. What I found most impressive is that each one of her pieces had its own mood and unique perspective that set it apart from the rest, though all were images of the same building. Her use of various watercolors and her undoubtedly deliberate choices of content helped distinguish them and make them beautiful as individual pieces as well as part of a whole.
Following the exhibit, the Southern Virginia Orchestra, Concert Chorale, Bella Voce, and a flute trio performed in the annual Homecoming Concert. It was perhaps one of the most diverse and enthralling concerts I’ve been to at the university, featuring everything from “A Hebrew Welcome” to Les Miserables’s “Bring Him Home.” This last one was especially wonderful, since it featured one of the university’s new faculty members, Dr. Eric Hanson, as soloist. Hanson came to Southern Virginia as an assistant professor of music after having led an incredible career in both education and performance, and his experience is evident. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard such a magnificent tenor voice live, and it was, to put it simply, a pleasure. I’m very excited to hear more from Dr. Hanson and to see how his tenure at Southern Virginia will continue to bless the music program.
Of course, the best part of a Southern Virginia concert is always a rendition of “Shenandoah.” As alumni hurried from the audience to join those onstage and sing the song that no Southern Virginia graduate can feel impartial toward, I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt incredibly grateful to be a part of this university and to be amongst these people. This is most definitely a unique, lovely place nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, this school of ours.
(Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’15. Graphic by Cameron Burgoyne ’15.)