Each year, Spivey Hall brings thousands of potential college students to Clayton State University through its music education programs. For many students, it’s their first time to set foot on a college campus.
In October, 125 high school students took a break from their choir rehearsal to hear about the academic programs that Clayton State University offers. Clayton State senior Ivan Segovia, who is a student assistant in Spivey Hall’s box office, addressed the students.
“I participated in the Spivey Hall Choral Workshop when I was in high school, and it’s because of the incredible workshop experience, and the opportunity to sing in this beautiful hall, that I decided to enroll at Clayton State University,” he said.
Candace Henry, a Clayton State alum and current admissions counselor, also spoke to the students. Not only did she inform them about the various academic degrees on campus, but she also revealed that she, too, had been a member of a previous Spivey Hall Choral Workshop. That was her first introduction to Clayton State University.
While some students are actively trying to decide which college to attend when they come to Spivey Hall for the first time, others become acquainted with the hall, and consequently the campus, at a very early age. Young People’s Concerts (YPC), for example, are school-day field trips designed for students in all grade levels, from pre-K to grade 12. It is not uncommon for Spivey Hall Education Manager Amber Dimkoff to have a child shyly look up at her and say, “I was here last year. Do you remember me? I’m so glad I got to come back this year!” Many teachers pack lunches for their students and they sit outside on the lawn, or walk to the gymnasium in the Athletics & Fitness Center, to eat lunch after the concert. The children feel so grown-up knowing that they are on a “real” college campus participating in college student-like activities.
Similarly, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program (SHCCP) is comprised of students between the ages of 10 and 18. Some have been members for eight years, traveling every Monday night, year after year, to Clayton State University to rehearse and create beautiful music. These children not only “grow up” in Spivey Hall, but they also represent the University as its cultural ambassadors, singing in venues throughout the United States and in countries across the world. This summer the Spivey Hall Tour Choir will represent Clayton State University when they perform at the widely known Oregon Bach Festival, and in June 2009 when they give a 10-day performance tour in China.
Established in 1993, the Spivey Hall Education Committee began identifying music education needs in the communities surrounding Clayton State University. In 1994, both the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program and Young People’s Concerts were launched. Fourteen years later, the SHCCP now involves 170 students in three choirs, and YPCs brought a record number of students to Spivey Hall in 2007/2008. However, Spivey Hall’s educational programs also include two choral workshops, a chamber orchestra workshop, a jazz workshop, master classes, and professional development opportunities for music teachers. More than 15,000 students and their teachers travel from some 18 counties to Spivey Hall each year for these programs.
For more information about Spivey Hall’s educational programs, please email Dimkoff at AmberDimkoff@clayton.edu or visit www.spiveyhall.org/education.
A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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