Oral Moses retires from Kennesaw State
Professor of voice taught at KSU for 28 years
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KENNESAW, Ga. (December 5, 2012) —
Oral Moses has always known what he wanted to do in his life. As an undergraduate student, he decided he wanted to teach and to have a career in singing. After 28 years teaching at Kennesaw State University and performing locally and nationally, he has accomplished his goals and is retiring.
The first step in achieving his goals was to obtain his doctorate in vocal performance and opera from the University of Michigan. Next, he applied for numerous teaching positions, including one at Kennesaw State. It would be a good fit for the South Carolina native for several reasons: not only was it close to his mom, but it also gave him the chance to join a new, up-and-coming music program with great potential.
“When I first came to KSU,” Moses recalls, “it was a very sparse campus, with only about six or seven buildings and less than 5,000 students.” What Moses liked most about the music program, now the School of Music, was that it was ready to grow. “There were always plans for improvement and growth; there was never a moment of rest or settling. It has been really fun to be a part of that growth.”
For Moses, the growth that excites him most is not new buildings or equipment—it's the students. “When students come in as freshmen, we hear them audition. To see what that student sounds like when they graduate is amazing,” Moses says. He is still in touch with many of his students, even some from his early years at KSU. “I think it is important to keep that connection going and to maintain a relationship with my students, even after they have moved on from KSU,” he explains. Many of Moses’ current students were not even alive when he first began teaching.
In addition to his impressive career as a professor of voice, Moses, a bass-baritone, has also had an impressive career of personal research and performance. His research interests include African-American music and Negro spirituals. He has released a CD titled “Deep River: Songs and Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh,” which was showcased in a PBS documentary on American music. He says, "As an artist, my greatest personal accomplishment is to know that I’ve made a contribution to the world of music in some way. As a teacher, my greatest accomplishment is seeing my students go on to realize their goals."
Moses plans to continue teaching part-time and stay active in the education of his students. He also hopes to spend more time on his research and performance opportunities, and he jokes that the busiest people in the world are retired people. “But you never know,” he laughs, “I might end up on some Greek isle for a while.”
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.