By: Alex Spindler ~Arts & Entertainment Editor~
This past June, the Xavier Department of Music and Theatre announced that associate professor Dr. Matthew Westgate will not return to Xavier in the fall. Westgate will take on a new position as director of wind studies at the University of Massachusetts.
Westgate just recently concluded a European tour with Xavier’s combined Symphonic Winds and Orchestra ensemble earlier this summer. The ensemble visited various countries and performed its concerts in Prague and Vienna. Students have looked up to Westgate not only as a mentor and conductor, but also as an inspiration through his many roles in the department.
Since his departure from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music — where Westgate earned his doctorate in 2008 — he has served as director of instrumental activities for a variety of ensembles in the Department of Music and Theatre. While he did not expect to stay at Xavier for very long, Westgate has made his six-year career here memorable and influential for a variety of students and faculty.
Students recognize his presence as director of Symphonic Winds, the Xavier Chamber Orchestra and the Xavier Pep Band, which plays at all the Xavier men’s basketball games. Westgate also previously served as conductor for the university’s jazz ensemble.
Additionally, Westgate frequently collaborates with the Department of Music and Theatre by conducting the pit orchestra for the various musical productions.
“I feel so blessed to know these fantastic students and colleagues,” Westgate said. “And I feel lucky to have them in my life. The best part about the past six years has, by far, been the people I have had the privilege of working with and learning from every day. I will forever be grateful for this time in my life.”
The Xavier Department of Music and Theatre, the various ensembles and music groups and the Xavier community will surely miss Westgate and his years of service to the school.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment