Many of my days here at DC start off or end with a trip to Schauffler which is where I am currently writing right now. Many music students find ourselves here very often, especially in 117. There is one person though that I see more often than not and that is Dr. Jim Watson.
Dr. Jim has only been with us for a semester. He moved up here from South Carolina with his wife, Hannah and his two kids, Ben and Kate. He just recently received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina in Choral Conducting. I have had the privilege of getting to know Dr. Jim through working for him, being in Chamber Singers, Choral Union, Marching Band, and Pep Band. Dr. Jim or Dr. Lavender as the band kids call him( if you want to know why he is called that join the band) is a great director.
I have learned quite a bit from taking a few of his classes. He is extremely passionate about music and it shows. Many times when I have went up to his office for a meeting he will tell me that he wants to show me something. He will pull up something about music or tell me a fun fact about a piece we are doing and his eyes just light up. He puts in countless hours in order to help us succeed. He truly cares about each one of us. Countless times when I am getting ready to leave for the night Dr. Jim has told me to have a safe trip back to Stryker which is where I live. Many people don’t remember those kinds of details. He also has a unique sense of humor.
The band decided to give him a prank gift at the end of the season. Dr. Jim would always tell us that he spent thousands of dollars on his hands, that we should watch them, and then he would proceed to laugh. We gave him some golden gloves to protect his golden hands and he started to laugh when we gave them to him.
Overall it takes a pretty special person to be able to be at the helm of an entire music program, choral and instrumental included. He has done a great job with us so far and I am looking forward to seeing where the programs go from here. If you want to learn more about Dr. Jim, don’t be afraid to go say hi to him at his office in Schauffler 210 or join one of the ensembles. Dr. Jim, if you are reading this, thank you for all that you have done and will do for these programs. It means a lot to us.
Written by Keira Grandey