Kentucky Wesleyan Singers to present European Tour Concert at St. Stephen Cathedral

The Kentucky Wesleyan Singers will present their Tour Concert on Friday, April 27, at 5 p.m. at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro. A few days later they will leave for a 10-day tour of Vienna, Olomouc (our sister city in the Czech Republic), Prague, Leipzig and Berlin.

The concert will consist of standard choral music, music by composers from Vienna and Leipzig, spirituals, folk songs, and songs from Kentucky.

The Singers are directed by Professor Dennis Jewett and accompanied by James Wells ’14, the organist and music director at St. Stephen Cathedral and adjunct instructor at Kentucky Wesleyan. This concert is scheduled during Commencement Weekend because several Singers are graduating, and their families will be able to attend.

Professor Jewett said, “The Singers are deeply grateful to alumni, trustees and members of the community who have generously supported their efforts to raise the funds to enable them to experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”

Why I Give: Matthew Ruark ’09

Hometown: Brooksville, Ky.
Education: B.A., Political Science, Kentucky Wesleyan College
                    M.A., Indiana University, Philanthropic Studies

Why do you give to Wesleyan?

By giving back, I pay tribute to those who gave to Wesleyan so I could attend. I want to help people, just as I was helped. It means a lot to me to return the favor to other students, and I want others to have a remarkable, life-changing experience, just like I did.

I have given a gift every month since I graduated, and I know I make a difference to my alma mater and to our students in helping provide scholarships to students from all walks of life.

Why do you encourage others to give?

Every gift counts, and every gift helps. I encourage fellow young alumni to give, even if they can give only a small amount now. Small amounts add up. It is rewarding to give back, and I believe we all have a responsibility to invest in Wesleyan because so many people in the Wesleyan community invested in us.

Why did you attend Wesleyan?

I applied to a number of colleges/universities and decided on a large state university. In July, I got a call from a Wesleyan admission counselor, and then I received a note in the mail from an alumna, Luellen Pyles ’44, who lived near my hometown. She encouraged me to enroll, and she got my attention. The financial package was appealing, and the letter from Ms. Pyles tipped the scales. So I enrolled at Wesleyan sight unseen and never looked back. That decision changed my life.

Describe your experiences as a Wesleyan student.

I was a political science major, and Dr. Bill Conroy was an excellent mentor. He was tough, and I learned that I had to know my stuff before I walked into his classroom. He taught me to write and speak, and I’ll always have that. My favorite class was “Women in Christianity.” Stephanie Curran was the professor. She was a great teacher, and learning about woman who were leaders, and even martyrs, through the centuries was fascinating.

The trip to New York City during spring break was spectacular. It was a long way from Bracken County.

My entire Wesleyan experience expanded my worldview, and I started thinking globally and far beyond my own little corner of the world.

I encountered many challenges in the classroom, and though I felt uncomfortable at the time, I look back and see how valuable those challenges were. I learned to think and to understand others, and I was surrounded by people who mentored and cared for me.

My favorite memory of my student years was walking across the stage when I received my degree. Luellen Pyles, who encouraged me to attend Wesleyan four years earlier, handed me my diploma. I will never forget her or that moment.

Why did you choose to stay on campus and accept a job here after graduation?

First of all, I love the College. I felt a need to give back, and I wanted to work with the people who helped shape me and cared for me as a student.

I love sharing my own Wesleyan story with prospective students. I see in them who I was as a high school student, and I know I can connect with them and share how Wesleyan can change their lives.

Kentucky Wesleyan to host Spring Concerts


The Kentucky Wesleyan College Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Callihan with guest conductor Dr. Nick Palmer, will perform on Sunday, April 15, at 3 p.m. in the Daviess County High School Auditorium. The program will feature works by Chance, Rimsky-Korsakov, Ticheli, Barnes, Hazo and Monterde.

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Jazz Band, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Callihan, will perform on Monday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Tapscott Chapel in the Barnard-Jones Administration Building at Kentucky Wesleyan College. The program will feature works by Earth, Wind & Fire, Buddy Rich, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Jobim, Benny Goodman and many others.

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Callihan with student conductors Nathan Payne, Brandon Reburn and Eric Stuart, and the Kentucky Wesleyan College Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Nick Palmer, will present a joint concert at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, in Rogers Hall at the Winchester Center at Kentucky Wesleyan College. The program will feature works by Bernstein, Copland, Daehn, Giroux, Hovhaness, Unger, Orff, Custer and Bourgeois.

Celebration of Student Achievement

Kentucky Wesleyan College will honor students at the Celebration of Student Achievement on Thursday, April 12, beginning with Honors Convocation at 12:30 p.m. at Legacy Owensboro Church at 3300 Frederica St. Dr. Ryne Williams ’12 will address the student body on “Running the race: How perseverance and faith lead to success.” He was a Chemistry major at Wesleyan with a minor in Christian Ministries and earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Kentucky in 2015. Dr. Williams resides in Lexington, where he is the clinic director for Results Physiotherapy at the Lexington-Hamburg Clinic. Scholars’ Day presentations will follow in Rogers Hall at the Winchester Center from 2 – 3:30 p.m. The annual “88 Keys” Piano Recital will take place at 6 p.m. in Tapscott Chapel in the Barnard-Jones Administration Building. 

Live Stream Honors Convocation!

Kentucky Wesleyan College to host Nick Palmer recording release reception

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Music Program will host a public reception at noon on Monday, April 16, to celebrate the release of Nick Palmer’s recording with the London Philharmonic of the music of Arnold Rosner. The reception will take place in the Ralph Center Lobby at the College. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear and purchase the recording. This CD was recorded over five days in September 2017 at Studio One at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London’s St. George district with Producer Walter Simmons, Engineer Jonathan Allen and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The London Philharmonic is known for its musical excellence, as well as several film recordings including the “Lord of the Rings Cycle”. This is the first of two CD’s recorded that week to be released. The reception is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Diane Earle, Director of Music Program, at 270-852-3617.

Archery Club Attracts Interest of Students and Alumni

In Fall 2016, Kelsey Ray, Christine “Nikki” Allen and a number of students who had competed in archery at high school started the Kentucky Wesleyan College Archery Club as a student club. Ray contacted the United States Collegiate Archery Association (USCA) for information on starting a collegiate archery club and was able to obtain a start-up equipment grant for $5,000 in bows, arrows, nets, quivers, etc. In order to receive the equipment through the grant, Ray completed the coaching certification through the USCA over Spring Break 2017. The club ended the academic year with about 22 students who expressed an interest in archery.

Campus administration agreed for the Wesleyan Archery Club to use the HRC gym, and later the Auxiliary Gym, as practice space, with possible future use for competition. Over the summer, with donations from several donors, including alumni, a building was purchased and placed at the HRC to provide secure storage of the equipment, as well as be aesthetically compatible with the campus environment.

The Archery Club members began safety training and practicing in Fall 2018. Its first open practice, was held on Apr. 8. We had two alumni and one staff member join us that day. David Johnson ’91 told us that he had actually taken an archery class and shot in the Auxiliary Gym when he was a student at Wesleyan. The Archery Club is looking forward to hosting its first fundraising tournament in September 2018.

It is exciting to see the enthusiasm about archery at Kentucky Wesleyan from everyone – from students, staff, administration, board members, alumni and the community.

Kentucky Wesleyan College to hold annual “88 Keys” Recital

Owensboro, Ky. (March 27, 2018) – Kentucky Wesleyan College will present its “88 Keys” Piano Recital on Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m. in Tapscott Chapel in the Barnard-Jones Administration Building at the College.  This popular program features all Kentucky Wesleyan College students taking applied piano lessons.  They will perform solos, duets, trios, quartets and ensembles with various styles and composers represented. 

The “88 Keys” Recital has been an annual tradition since 1988.  The program is free and open to the public.  For additional information, contact Dr. Diane Earle at 270-852-3617.