Seasons of change have been imminent in the music department at Oklahoma Christian University as the new replaces the old. New steel drum band conductor, Kandyce Everett, became part of the music department staff at the beginning of the 2021 spring semester and is currently part time at Oklahoma Christian.
Professor of Music at Oklahoma Christian, John Fletcher, was part of the decision process to hire Everett for this position.
“It was just clear to us pretty early on that this is somebody who can step in and help us for this semester for sure,” Fletcher said.
When Everett was offered the position, she jumped in head first with the intention of sharing her enthusiasm for music with the students and hoping to leave a lasting impact on them
“I am really passionate about music, but I am also really passionate about people,” Everett said. “I think the combination of those two makes it to where I want to be there just so I can support them.”
Everett’s strong sentiment for the performing arts left an impression on Fletcher and the other music professors when she was a student at Oklahoma Christian.
“I felt really fortunate that we knew somebody who could step in on fairly short notice and help the ensemble to move forward as smoothly as possible,” Fletcher said.
The professors Everett had while she attended Oklahoma Christian demonstrated the essential elements of being a professor and a leader.
“It is one thing to care about the music, but another thing when the students feel like you care more about them than the music,” Everett said.
This ideal will allow for a new channel of growth with the steel drum band program throughout the Oklahoma Christian campus.
“It brought in some students who maybe have never participated in a band, a choir or an orchestra before, which we really liked about it,” Fletcher said.
With a wide variety of majors, from nursing all the way to history, this program hopes to incorporate new techniques that can benefit everyone, even students with more experience with music.
“I am trying to incorporate more just to bring out their skill levels, but I also want to make it really fun,” Everett said.
Everett will be able to become involved with more than just the steel drum band as the events of the spring semester come into full implementation.
“She is helping out with the cabaret production, she is also helping us with some of the recruiting efforts for our department and she will also be doing some teaching for online music classes,” Fletcher said.
As plans coordinated and needs rose to the spotlight, Everett was given the opportunity to work in her dream career and find a way to use her master’s in music therapy to its fullest advantage.
“I actually emailed Dr. Fletcher and I said I noticed they had a steel band,” Everett said. “I told him I would love to be even just a teacher’s assistant and help out and three years later, here I am teaching it.”
With the passing of Terry Attebery and the resignation of band director, Scott Filleman, the necessity for a certain gain within the music department became clear and Everett was a perfect fit for the job.
“The stars just seemed to align between her interests, talents and our needs for this semester,” Fletcher said.
She will add a modern flare to the steel drum band by integrating pop music and other exciting pieces that will bring joy to the Oklahoma Christian campus. Everett is planning to be what her Oklahoma Christian music professors were for her: a leader and guide through the ups and downs of college all while using music as the best possible outlet.