Stephen Corsi, Jazz Director and part-time music instructor, will be ending his career at Allegheny while accepting new responsibilities as the Assistant Professor in Graduate Education at Gannon University in Erie as of July 1.
“I’m going to miss the students, my colleagues, teaching young adults in general, and making music memorable and rewarding for all involved,” Corsi said in an email to The Campus.
For the past 12 years, Corsi led various music groups on campus, specifically the jazz band, mallet ensemble and percussion ensemble. With passion for music education as his groundwork, Corsi created opportunities for students to learn through local performances while also showing students and administrators ー mainly at the high school level ー the importance of music in school systems.
“I am most proud of what we successfully accomplished as teams through our rehearsals, fall and spring music performances, reaching thousands of people through our concerts and recordings, advocating for music education through our five Jazz Band Local School Tours, two High School Jazz Band Festivals, the 2014 Plaza Dedication Program, and other performance venues,” Corsi said.
Corsi’s willingness to help students refine their musical abilities awarded students the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.
“I’m a student who considers percussion to be sort of a non-native language, that is, it’s not my primary instrument,” Emma Godel, ’21, said. “Mr. Corsi knew this, but he still worked every day to challenge me and help me develop more skills. Despite my insecurities, he regularly provided positive feedback, which definitely helped to keep me focused on our shared goal of a quality final performance.”
While his passion for music is unfading, Corsi hopes to bring just as much energy to his new workplace in the education courses he will be teaching as well as in supervising the program.
“The biggest difference in my new position is the lack of music,” Corsi said. “I hope to continue to teach private percussion students and perform with groups when the opportunities arise, but I am very excited to help continue to build an already well-established Graduate Education Program.”
The music department as a whole is gracious for his time and efforts, but saddened by the loss of a great colleague, according to a statement from Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department Jennifer Dearden in an email to The Campus.
“Professor Corsi was not only an excellent colleague but a dedicated teacher who put significant energy into providing his students with new and unique opportunities,” said Dearden. “He was tireless in his efforts and always on top of the many moving parts involved in making those opportunities happen. The Music Department is sad to lose him but knows that he will bring that energy into his next endeavor, and wishes him all the best.”
As he prepares to leave Allegheny, Corsi made clear his time at the college as well as watching his students grow was a delight.
“I am very proud of what our percussionists and Jazz Band personnel have musically, personally and professionally achieved, not only in an ensemble setting, but through their applied lessons and recitals,” Corsi said. “It was rewarding and gratifying working with so many wonderful students and colleagues at Allegheny College.”