Rehearsals, performances, travel, class attendance and assignments, campus events and afternoon trips to the beach can make every day exciting – and sometimes a bit overwhelming – for students in the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile. But mentoring from professors like Dr. Christopher Lovely help ASOTA students stay focused on what’s truly important. “Though life can be a circus some days, we have great hope and assurance in Jesus Christ. Be encouraged!” Lovely says.
We wanted to know more about UM’s associate professor of music and director of music theory studies.
Q: What is your background?
A: I started as adjunct instructor of piano in 2008, and was promoted to full-time status in 2009. My degrees are Bachelor of Music in church music from William Carey College, and a Master of Music in piano accompanying and Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from The University of Southern Mississippi. I have played piano for over 30 years, served in multiple churches, and given multiple concerts in the southeast.
Q: What courses do you typically teach?
A: I teach courses in music theory and vocal coaching, both undergraduate and graduate. My favorite class to teach is music theory, because I love to see a student understand a concept that helps them to understand something else, and gives them more understanding about music and their career.
Q: What is your favorite piece to perform?
A: It’s hard to name a single piece of music that I love to play. It often depends upon the situation in which I find myself. However, my favorite genre to play is the church hymn. When playing a hymn, the words come to my mind and minister deeply to my heart. Each separate time after the deaths of my mother and grandmother, I played hymns at the piano for hours—any hymn that would come to my mind. I am grateful that the Lord used that time to help me grieve and heal from the loss.
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about Jesus Christ and His presence in my life, and my family—my wife Michele, teenage son Joshua, and our 4-year old son, Jody. Jody is our child with special needs and his presence can light up a room. While he has many obstacles to overcome, he is loving, courageous and joyful!
Q: What do you like most about UM?
A: The collegiality amongst the faculty and the presence of unity amongst students. No one is a number, or an unknown. Each person has something to offer to a discussion, and each person has a purpose.
Q: UM offers “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose.” What does that mean to you?
A: We seek to use the wisdom and understanding that God has granted us, and we glorify God in all things, while impacting others in a meaningful way.