2013 Spring Newsletter

Message from the Chair

W. Terrence SpillerCollege students are often advised to follow their passions and dreams. Two alums — guest artists with us this season — took that declaration to heart and followed new passions they discovered because they explored music at Cal Poly.

Paul HondorpPaul Hondorp, who was a guest conductor for the Choirs' Winter Concert, tried out for choir in 1987 on a whim. His audition got off to a bad start as he showed up wearing a Michigan hat, and our choir director, Thomas Davies, is from Ohio! Despite this inauspicious beginning, Paul, who earned his business degree in 1990, just before the music degree was launched, quickly became an active and indispensable choir member. An opportunity to conduct our London Study singers convinced him that he wanted to be a choir director. He went on to earn three degrees in music, culminating with his doctorate from Michigan State University. He now heads the successful choral program at Western Kentucky University.

Michael Leopold started Cal Poly in 1990 as a nutrition major, and loved to play rugby; however, he felt drawn to the study of music, and ultimately changed majors. He studied guitar with Craig Russell, threw himself into his coursework, and graduated with a music degree. He then pursued early music studies at Sacramento State, and in Milan, Italy. He performs on Baroque plucked instruments all over the globe. See our article on his guest artist visit in May.

Both Michael and Paul had the courage to change course and pursue their musical dreams, and we are proud to have helped them find their paths. Ever optimists, we will always preach what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

W. Terrence Spiller, Chair