Kenney Potter, Wingate University’s director of choral activities and music education, has worked at the University for seven years. A trained vocalist, he came to the University after teaching middle and high schools in Gaston County.
The music program stays active with clinics, performances, tours and trips. Music fills the halls of the Anne R. Belk music building as students practice vocals and playing instruments. Approximately 90 students participate in at least one of the four choirs: Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Chamber Choir and University Singers. Potter anticipates over 100 students will participate next year, as the program keeps growing.
The Chamber Choir completed a two-day tour in the fall. University Singers participated in a five-day tour in the spring. “The purpose of the tours is camaraderie, which makes the group better musically,” Potter said. “The tours also introduce Wingate University to others.”
Potter has always had an interest in South African music, so in 2010 he took 31 students to South Africa. One of the music students, Ryan Bradley, was from South Africa and members of his church housed the students while they visited. Students spent time visiting and singing at an orphanage, going to a game preserve, performing with another university choir and touring Johannesburg and Capetown .
Twenty singers joined Potter on a trip to Estonia and Latvia in May 2012. In addition to singing performances in Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia, they participated in an International Festival of Choirs in Parnu, Estonia.
As students keep opening his office doors to ask questions, he doesn’t mind the interruptions. With energy and enthusiasm, Potter obviously thrives in his teaching role. “I enjoy meeting high school students and helping them to decide their path to a university, specifically Wingate,” he said.”I, then, enjoy watching the students develop as musicians,
people and leaders through their years of study at Wingate. “
He keeps in touch with many students after graduation. “I love seeing them after college,” he said. “And seeing what role Wingate had in what they’re doing.”