By Meredith Lyverse
One student is tooting Bellarmine music department’s horn by creating a new club for music students.
Junior Emma Stivers said she founded the Bellarmine Music Ambassadors in the fall to showcase the “small but mighty” music department to prospective music students. Stivers is also president of Bellarmine’s Pre-Physical Therapy Association and was recently accepted into Bellarmine’s Doctorate Physical Therapy Program. Despite her full academic plate, her passion for the school’s music department is strong.
“It means so much to me,” Stivers said. “It’s truly like a big family.”
Stivers has been a music major at Bellarmine since 2018. “She wanted to give back to the department,” said Mark Kano, professor of music and director of chapel music at Bellarmine. “She felt like the department has done a lot for her to make her experience at Bellarmine a positive one.”
The concept is similar to the Ambassador program in admissions. The difference? This organization is specialized for present and future music students, giving all students from vocal performance to instrumental majors an opportunity to get to know each other.
The first Bellarmine Music Ambassadors event was a socially distanced gathering in the quad for first-year students to connect with juniors and seniors. Stivers’ goal is to welcome new students to their home on campus for the next four years.
“I want them to know they have a community and group of friends,” Stivers said.
In the future, members plan to recruit, perform at high schools and create their own sector during Week of Welcome. The club has 10 members, but Stivers said she hopes to grow the club this semester.
Stivers approached Kano when she had the idea for the club. He said he accepted the role as adviser because it will help students, especially those entering college during a time when COVID has changed everything.
Music Ambassador and Bellarmine sophomore Sarah Barry met Stivers at an admissions event in Nashville while she was still a prospective student.
“It gave me a lot of comfort knowing there was someone else out there in the same field I wanted to be in,” Barry said. “It was reassuring knowing I had her to see around campus.”
It was an easy decision for Barry to join the club. She said she wants to be a point of contact and support for incoming students, as Stivers was for her.
“I want students to know that we’re here for them in all aspects,” she said.
Stivers said she regards Bellarmine’s music department very highly. “The faculty are world-class professionals, and the music community is like no other,” Stivers said. “They want to see all their students succeed and form connections in the Louisville music community, and the Music Ambassadors are here to help.”