CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – He’s a trumpet player, an educator and now he will be a composer the entire world will know about.
Matt White, an associate professor in the Department of Music and director of ensembles and commercial music, received a world-renowned Guggenheim Fellowship for 2019 to forward his work in music composition.
The Guggenheim Fellowship Program was established in 1925 by former United States Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim with a mission to “add to the educational, literary, artistic and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding,” according to a news release.
White said he will use the grant to record and compose a synthesis of two musical genres that involve local heritage and his personal expertise: Gullah and jazz.
“I’m super thrilled,” White said. “It’s exciting for me because I do so many things – I’m a trumpet player, I’m an educator - it’s cool to get recognition as being a composer and knowing that I can just focus on this one thing for a period of time.”
White will begin work on the project in the summer and will continue throughout the 2019-20 academic year.
“My project is a large-scale composition and recorded piece that’s a collaboration between community Gullah musicians and all my friends in the jazz community,” said White. “So, I’ll be going out and doing recordings of singers, tambourine players and musicians, and then I’ll cut that up with editing and start building the compositions around that.”
He is the first CCU faculty member to earn this award and was selected out of a pool of more than 3,000 artists and scholars from around the United States and Canada for this prestigious honor.