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Homecoming Music Sampler marks return to treasured traditions for Carson-Newman

One of the great Homecoming traditions, the annual Music Sampler will return this Homecoming to Mossy Creek.

Click for info on Homecoming 2021

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.– Carson-Newman University’s 2021 Homecoming Music Sampler will connect musicians past and present in performance Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m.

One of the University’s most popular homecoming traditions, the sampler highlights current music majors’ and ensembles’ work for alumni.

“It’s pretty wonderful for our alumni to be able to hear all the different groups and see what’s going on,” said chair and professor of music Dr. Mark Hussung. “It’s wonderful for us as a department because we get to see all these musicians from previous years and relive the experience of having them here.”

The offerings are varied in style, featuring groups such as Carson-Newman’s A Cappella Choir, Women Singers, Men’s Chorus, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Piano Ensemble; and Redemption, an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists. 

Hussung said the students performing in the sampler prepare to showcase their talent and skills for this event as they would any other, but the potential to forge relationships with alumni sets it apart.

“I think the meaning for the students in performing for all these past Carson-Newman musicians is to realize the rich tradition they’re a part of and continuing,” Hussung said.

The beloved tradition was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University’s Alumni Board Executive Committee originally rescheduled 2020’s Homecoming from Oct. 31, 2020, to March 27, 2021, but restrictions would not have allowed for events such as the music sampler to happen.

After much prayerful consideration, the board’s Executive Committee voted instead for a double reunion year in fall 2021—putting the sampler back on the table.

“For us, the return to a music sampler sort of proves life is going to go on past the pandemic,” Hussung said. “It’s a return to treasured traditions.”

The Homecoming Music Sampler is not only an opportunity for connection through a single musical performance, but an opportunity for alumni to find out how to stay connected throughout the year. Carson-Newman’s Friends of Music group will announce projects and initiatives for 2021 and beyond at the event.

Hussung said the music department aims to make this event memorable for alumni, students and faculty after a long year apart.

“It will be such a joy to see alumni back on campus at this event and begin to renew those friendships and reconnect with the people we love so much,” Hussung said.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of less than 10:1, Carson-Newman’s music department is deeply invested in challenging students to reach their fullest potential whether pursuing careers in performance, worship leadership or teaching.

The Homecoming Music Sampler is free and will be performed at the First Baptist Church along Russell Avenue on Carson-Newman’s campus. It lasts about an hour.

Carson-Newman continues to follow guidance from the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health. All guests are encouraged to vaccinate prior to attending (if medically able) and to wear a mask (regardless of vaccination status) when on campus and unable to social distance.

Carson-Newman will celebrate Homecoming 2021 on Saturday, Oct. 30. Events are planned throughout the week.

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