Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Congratulations, Charles!

Charles Henry was named the new director of choral music at Spain Park High School.  Needless to say, I am very proud.  As a student, Charles always did the "right thing."  He was hard-working, respectful, and thorough.  He's carried those qualities (and much more) into the early years of his career and he's done a fantastic job at Pinson High School for the past few years.  He was officially named as Spain Park High School's new choral director - and that speaks highly of several things:
  • Charles' talent, ability, and personality
  • His hard work at Pinson High School
  • His excellent background in choral music with Carl Davis at Decatur High School
  • His training in music and choral music education at UAB.
Congratulations, Charles.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is official

It is official - I have resigned my position at UAB and will become a member of the Samford Music Faculty.

Things I want you to know:
  • Directing the choirs at UAB was my greatest joy during my tenure at the university.  I will always value the nine wonderful years of music making and laughter we shared together.
  • The relationships that I have with UAB students and faculty are important to me and I hope that they will continue. 
Why I chose to leave  . . . . There was nothing negative about my position at UAB that caused me to look for another job.  You will want to know why I made the decision, so I wanted to share some of the reasons.

Samford appealed to me because:
  • The Samford faculty, like the UAB faculty, is outstanding.  There are four full-time voice teachers and one part-time. 
  • Samford is an arts-centered university.  Presidents and provosts, along with scholarships and program budgets, support the choir and believe in its importance.
  • International travel is funded in part by the university and encouraged every two years in the official description of the choir.
  • UAB's urban campus was never a long-term career choice for me - the facilities and non-urban nature of the Samford campus is appealing.
  • There are three separate outstanding performing spaces for choirs:  Brock Hall, Hodges Chapel, and Reid Chapel.  Two of those spaces have organs, allowing for exploration of the rich choral-organ literature.
  • String faculty and string students allow for exploration of other types of choral literature.
  • There is a tradition at Samford that I greatly admire - alumni frequently attend the concerts of the choir.
  • My family and I are very happy in Birmingham for many reasons and Samford looks like a place I can spend the rest of my career.  After a certain amount of time, my children will be able to attend Samford and other similar institutions tuition free - a gift that is worth about $250,000 from what I know about current tuition costs.
I don't know if you want to know all that, but we have always shared honestly with each other and I want to honor that practice by communicating openly about my thinking.

I'm at O'Henry's nearly every morning - come see me if you want to talk.

philip l. copeland
former director of choral activities,
the university of alabama at birmingham

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Miree family - with deepest gratitude


On your behalf, I accepted a gift from Harry and his family today - a photo of our performance at Independent Presbyterian Church for Kyser Miree's memorial service on April 20, 2010.

It was a very meaningful gift that commemorated a very special day for us together:

and this:

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tuxedos and dresses due now


It is past time for you to turn in your tuxedo or choir dress. If you don't have it in by this Friday, I'll have to put a hold on your account.

You need to turn in your dress in the hallway across from the choir room.

These pictures will help you know where to go.