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Special message from Giving Day Chair

"My very first class at Blair was Professor Joshua McGuire’s ear training class on a humid Wednesday in late August of 2007 from 8:10 AM - 9:00 AM. I remember the date of this first class—August 29—because I have long had the pesky habit of keeping an old-fashioned, hand-written calendar. Four years at Blair quickly passed by in fifty-minute increments and in new calendars reading 2008, 2009, 2010, and finally 2011. On a humid Thursday afternoon in mid-May—May 12, according to my calendar— I found myself sitting in Turner Recital Hall for the senior recognition ceremony, listening to Professor McGuire as the ceremony speaker. His last lecture was about time: not the time of rhythm and meter that we’re accustomed to discussing as musicians but the time of life's relentless clock. His parting words to our class tasked us with the tall order of doing well, and more importantly, doing good.

I remember these words because I wrote them down on a dog-eared corner of my worn 2011 calendar, complete with quotation marks for accuracy and the word "good" underlined not once but twice for emphasis. I remember these words because I carry them with me daily, like the too-stuffed backpack I would tote back and forth to Blair for four years, containing within a Scriabin score or a Penderecki recording or my loyal calendar. I also remember these words because, six years after having graduated, I realize that's exactly what my musical and human educations at Blair taught me: to do well and to do good.

Today, just like all other days, I wake up and check my calendar: it's June 15, which would be just like any other Thursday, except I've written in some cursive-print-hieroglyphic hybrid that is my typically-hurried handwriting: Blair Giving Day.

I'm enormously, extraordinarily grateful to Blair for teaching me to do well and to do good. For surrounding me with people—professors and peers alike—who showed me through their actions how to do well and how to do good. For educating my musicianship and my humanity, simultaneously, in equal measure, with the implicit knowledge that each part is dependent upon the other.

I have this kind of crazy dream that one day I can give something huge to Blair— I don’t know exactly what yet, but I want it to be the kind of the thing that will allow Blair to continue to teach students what it taught me: to do well and to do good. When that day comes, I hope we all—as proud and overwhelmingly grateful members of the Blair community—can be a part of that effort. I’m constantly aware that, as Professor McGuire told us on my very first and very last day of school, the clock is always ticking, and we are running out of time. Today, and every day, mark your calendars: do well, and do good."

Madeline Myers, Bmus '11

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About the Blair School of Music

The Blair School of Music serves as the focal point within Vanderbilt University for the study of music as a human endeavor and as a performing art. Music offers to all persons a medium for the expression of the human spirit. Accordingly, the Blair School of Music addresses music through a broad array of academic, pedagogical, and performing activities. Consistent with the mission of Vanderbilt University, the School maintains and promotes the highest standards in the pursuit of scholarly and creative work, in the delivery of instruction, and in the promotion of professional and public service.

Why gifts matter

The generosity of Blair supporters enhances our ability to provide music instruction and performance opportunities that expand the interests, talents and aspirations of our students. By making a gift on Giving Day you help us continue to build our reputation as a nationally acclaimed music school.

How gifts are used

• Provide scholarships and programs that contribute to student success

• Attract and retain world-class faculty

• Host exciting guest artists and performances