Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT Music Faculty Members Featured on New Album

The Elicio Winds recently released its debut recording, “Convergence: Music & Cultural Legacy.” Members are, from left, Dr. Virginia Broffitt Kunzer, Dr. Conor Bell and Dr. Kathleen Carter Bell.

CANYON, Texas — A trio featuring two faculty members from West Texas A&M University’s School of Music recently released its debut album.

The Elicio Winds’ “Convergence: Music & Cultural Legacy” is available now on CD through Blue Griffin Records and can be streamed on all major platforms.

Ensemble members are Dr. Conor Bell, WT’s assistant professor of bassoon; Dr. Kathleen Carter Bell, an instructor of music at WT; and Dr. Virginia Broffitt Kunzer, associate professor of flute at Auburn University.

The trio formed in 2020 when all three were teaching at Auburn before Conor Bell was hired this fall at WT.

“Convergence” features five works commissioned by the trio from contemporary American composers that each highlight unique cultural elements within the state of Alabama.

“We called the album ‘Convergence’ to underscore the music’s abundant connections to the literature, folk music, architecture and communities of Alabama,” Conor Bell said.

Two grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts funded the commissions and the recording.

“We place a high value on programming music with tangible connections to other things that people value,” Bell said. “Creating new art music with ties to important cultural aspects strengthens its impact on audiences and performers alike.”

Bell graduated from WT in 2013, then continued to Indiana University, where he met Kathleen Carter Bell. Both earned master’s and doctoral degrees from IU’s Jacobs School of Music.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.

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