Wayland welcomes Talkington music students

PLAINVIEW – Dr. Richard Fountain found himself in a familiar position on Monday, sitting at the keyboard of a Steinway and Sons grand piano. What may have been unfamiliar was the audience for which he was playing.

Fountain was among the faculty of Wayland Baptist University’s School of Music who welcomed 69 girls from the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders on Monday, providing a venue for the girls to listen, learn and practice their recital pieces. The Talkington School is a magnet school within the Lubbock Independent School District. It is a college preparatory school for young women in grades 6-12.

Led by Wayland alum Josh Harris, who graduated in 2006 with a degree in piano, 69 of the approximately 140 students in the music program made the trek to Plainview on Monday to tour the School of Music. Harris, who teaches piano at Talkington, said the idea to visit Wayland came from Dr. Ann Stutes, Dean of the School of Music, in a conversation he had with her at the Texas Music Educators Associate annual meeting last winter.

“I was telling her about how we do a duets recital for our big Christmas recital and she said we needed to bring it to Wayland,” Harris said. “I thought that was a great idea. The girls would love going there.”

Although the actual performance was scheduled for later on Monday at Lubbock Christian University, Harris brought the girls to Wayland where they could practice on the Steinway and Sons pianos.

“The girls loved getting to play on all the nice pianos,” Harris said. “With (Wayland) being an All-Steinway School now, it’s a great opportunity or the girls to get to play on a lot of nice pianos and feel the different qualities.”

The girls were treated to lunch by the School of Music and a campus tour by the Wayland admissions staff. One senior, interested in music education, even applied for admission.

“The girls had a blast. They just loved it,” Harris said.

Wayland’s faculty enjoyed the day as well.

“The whole culture they have cultivated from the very beginning at Talkington is just excellence in these young ladies,” Stutes said. “They behave well and it was a joy to have them here.”

All of Wayland’s practice rooms and faculty offices were open to the students, and many faculty were on hand to listen and offer some occasional instruction.

Stutes and Harris both agreed that the day was a big success and Stutes said they are definitely welcomed back.