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Hidden Talent – Accomplished musicians comprise WC adjunct faculty

One of the best kept secrets in Weatherford is the level of talent residing in Weatherford College’s adjunct music faculty.

Among this group of musicians are a world renowned pianist, an accomplished opera enthusiast,
a chart-topping jazz composer and a classical guitarist working to expand the visibility of WC through establishing a world-recognized guitar competition.

Pianist Dr. Hyeyoung Song has performed from New York to Korea, and most recently at the American Cathedral in Paris. For the past nine years, she has enthusiastically passed on her knowledge of the piano to students at WC.

Song discovered her musical talent at a young age, and describes her first piano lesson as a magical moment that changed her life.

“As a child, I strongly believed music to be the highest form of art,” she said, “something beyond literature, science, morals.”

Besides the desire to play the piano, Song also felt a calling to teach that was solidified by the positive feedback of her supervisor and students when she first began teaching piano at the University of Texas. Her goal as an instructor is to open her students up to the world of classical music.

“It is true joy to see my students grow in music every day,” she said. “I’m thrilled to hear when my students fall in love with music.”

Rick Rainey, Voice InstructorVoice instructor Rick Rainey also lights up when he sees his students gain an increased appreciation for music. For the past 10 years, Rainey has offered private voice lessons at WC as well as organized several opera workshops showcasing the talent of his students.

“There are many talented students who pass through this school, and it is very gratifying to be able to watch them progress,” he said.

Rainey’s introduction to the world of music began with piano lessons in the fourth grade followed by the school choir and private voice lessons. He went on to participate in the Fort Worth Opera Chorus and the Dallas Opera Chorus. For several years he also participated in the Fort Worth Opera children’s opera performing for thousands of elementary school children across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex including Weatherford.

As an instructor, he strives to provide the highest musical standards of teaching, a welcome atmosphere for learning and encouragement to anyone who wishes to learn about singing and opera.

In addition to encouragement and a creative atmosphere, jazz musician Ric Flauding’s philosophy is centered on teaching students to teach themselves.

“Learning to get a grade is one thing; learning because you have a great passion for something is another,” he said. “Truly, I love being at WC. It’s a best-fit situation for me based on my teaching philosophies.”

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Ric Flauding, JazzFlauding began writing music and performing for recording studios in Los Angeles right out of high school. For the past three years, he has instructed a variety of jazz courses including improvisation, small instrumental ensemble and theory.

His career highlights include an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Award for film scoring, working with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the success of his own compositions charting on worldwide radio and being used in television shows. He recently completed an arrangement for the Plano Symphony Orchestra which will be performed in December.

Classical guitarist Will Douglas joined the adjunct staff at WC less than three years ago and jumped right into establishing the Lone Star Guitar Festival and Competition. In its short lifespan, the festival has already gained notoriety among guitarists in Europe, South America and China.Will Douglas, Classical Guitarist

Douglas first picked up a guitar at age 8 and began playing rock and blues. Then, at age 18, he met Michael Dailey and his musical styling underwent a rebirth.

“Mr. Dailey was a student of the great Andres Segovia, a name with which I was not yet familiar,” Douglas said. “I soon learned that this great man was the father of all guitarists and it was upon hearing a recording of his that I fell in love with the beauty, complexity and shear physical skill behind the classical guitar.”

Douglas moved to Weatherford more than 20 years ago, and said the choice to teach at WC came out of a belief in the mission of the college and the sense of obligation to give back to the community that provided him a wonderful childhood.

“WC has given me the freedom to craft a real guitar department and set standards that will help students achieve the level of play needed to pursue university and conservatory studies,” he said. “That kind of freedom is rare.”

These instructors all have upcoming performances either of their own or showcasing their students’ talents. For more details, visit the WC events calendar at www.wc.edu/about/events-calendar.
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