ORONO - A professor who has played an integral role in making the University of Maine Choral Program what it is today, has announced his retirement. From this news the man now has a special fund set up in his name.
The sounds of the University Singers on the Orono campus at UMaine has grown exponentially for the last 30 plus years, mainly due to the man behind the baton.
"I remember what it was like when I came here in 1978," Dr. Dennis Cox, Professor of Music and Director of the Choral Music Program, says. "There was so much work to do, but now we've got many fine conductors, and six viable choirs that sound great. I feel like we've built a really excellent product that can compete anywhere in New England."
Dr. Dennis Cox announced he would retire at the end of the school year. This statement spawning the establishment of a fund in his name.
"Essentially it will support the University Singers, especially with touring," Daniel Williams, Associate Director of Planned Giving in the UMaine Foundation, says. "Our goal is to raise half a million dollars, and that will come from alumni, friends, and fans of the group. But mainly it will come from fans of Dr. Cox."
"Fundraising for an annual tour is something that becomes more and more challenging as times get harder," Tori Mason, President of the University Singers, says. "This endowment will allow us to continue this tradition of touring that we've come so well to know."
The group tours the northeast each spring, the fund is expected to play a crucial role in future trips as well as the outlook of the program.
"It will be instrumental in insuring that the University Singers never dies," Mason explains.
"I've learned at least as much from them as they have from me," Dr. Cox says.
The group will begin its tour on March 10 at the Baptist Church of Bar Harbor, traveling throughout the state in the following days and down into New Hampshire and Massachusetts.