Posting Date: January 20, 2009
School of Music salutes Mary Bice
(Above) Dean Joseph Meeks presented Mary Bice with a glass sculpture as a token of appreciation from the School of Music
(Below) Charles Schwartz, interim director of the School of Music, presented her with a card signed by all of her colleagues.
Photos by Cheryl Anderson Brown
and staff in the KSU School of Music gathered at the Jolley Lodge last week to pay tribute to one of their favorite people: Mary Bice.
Bice has been the school's administrative secretary since 1998. The school wished to honor her for the role she has played in supporting the music program as it has expanded, has added new facilities, has been named an All-Steinway School and has made the transition from a department to a school.
The event, code named "SOM" for "Surprise on Mary," was planned for several months in advance. Charles Schwartz, interim director of the school, spearheaded the project with assistance from a committee that included Susan Grant-Robinson, Barbara Hammond and Jana Young. However, nearly every member of the and staff played a role, from creating a giant card to ordering the food to arranging a song to be sung in Bice's honor. Bice, who was led to believe "SOM" stood for "School of Music," was thorougly surprised when the party transitioned from one celebrating the school's many accomplishments into one honoring her.
"A lot of people have put a lot of work into all of this," said former music department chair Peter Witte, who appeared via video. "A lot of us got credit for that and a lot of us didn't. I think it's appropriate that we spend some time thinking about the people who do all the right things for all the right reasons, even if nobody notices publically. One of those, I think everyone will agree, is Mary Bice."
At that point, Bice says she expected Witte to continue naming others. Instead College of the Arts Dean Joseph Meeks called her forward to accept a glass sculpture inscribed with the school's appreciation and Schwartz presented her with a card signed by her colleagues. Then, members John Lawless, Sam Skelton and Judith Cole accompanied the entire school as they sang a tribute arranged by John Culvahouse and Oral Moses.
"I am so honored to work with the School of Music," Bice says. "They are all so talented and professional. I really respect the work they do. I feel blessed to work with them."