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For immediate release — May 24, 2007
(DALLAS) — “Music is my second language,” says Dr. Sam Germany, professor of music at Cedar Valley College. “It is how I express things that often extend beyond words or mere emotions.” Germany, a popular faculty member with many students who take his classes, has been named one of the state’s 15 Minnie Stevens Piper Professors for 2007. The Duncanville resident, who directs the Family Music Theatre at CVC, was recognized during commencement ceremonies in May with the award, which includes a $5,000 check and a gold pin noting his outstanding achievement.
Germany, who believes he was destined to teach, seeks to find his students’ true potential: “When I see someone sing or act, I often can envision their essential potential. I hear in my head what I think they can do, almost as loudly as what they are doing. Teaching and directing, for me, simply is doing everything in my power to bring that vision to reality — to hear with my ears what I have been hearing in my head.”
The Cedar Valley College professor’s dedication to his students and to teaching are the benchmarks for all recipients of the Piper Professor Award. The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, which was organized in 1950 and incorporated in the state of Texas as a nonprofit, charitable foundation, currently provides the annual awards to professors for superior teaching at the college level. Selections are made on the basis of nominations submitted by each college or university in Texas — usually through the president’s office. The Piper Professor program began in 1958; the roster of those awardees includes outstanding faculty members from two- and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private.
Germany grew up in a musical family whose members moved countless times across the country; he says the essential constants in his life were family, faith, church and music. That solid foundation provided him with the confidence to become a pianist, vocalist, musician, actor and director whose experiences included being a family trio singer (at a very tender age); a high school choral performer; a music education major who later became a vocal major; a music theater enthusiast; church musician; actor; and, finally, a college professor and music theater director.
After years of testing himself in many areas of music and performance, Germany began teaching at CVC and made the long commuter’s trek from Duncanville to Denton, where he earned a doctorate in vocal performance at the University of North Texas. He realized that music and teaching were the perfect combination. “Gradually, the teacher in me began to rise up. I began to see that this was not just a second-best scenario but what I was truly meant to do and do well,” he recalls.
Germany became a full-time faculty member at CVC and then added directing musical theater to his list of responsibilities. After avoiding that arena for a number of years, he realized that he had found his niche. “With a confident peace in being a teacher, I found a new love of musical theater in seeing others flourish and shine on the stage under my direction,” says Germany, whose commitment to music theater also included bringing his family along so that they could be a part of that experience.
The Cedar Valley faculty member also believed that south Dallas County and Cedar Valley were “family territory” — an area filled with residents who were very oriented to family values. As a result, “Family Music Theatre (at Cedar Valley College) evolved to support a rather unique brand of alternative theater: top-quality music theater entertainment always guaranteed safe for the entire family,” he explains.
During his tenure on the faculty at CVC, Germany has taught courses in voice, piano, music theory, electronic music and music theater. In addition to his doctorate from UNT, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Anderson College (Ind.) and his master’s degree in music/vocal performance from Western Michigan University. Germany has won a number of honors, including: Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities; CVC Outstanding Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award; Outstanding Young Men of America; CVC President’s Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre Directing; and CVC Community Service Awards.
Germany also is a member of the International Thespian Society, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society; Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Fraternity; the Texas Music Educators Association; the Music Educators National Conference; and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Cedar Valley College is one of seven individually accredited institutions in the Dallas County Community College District, which serves more than 64,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students. DCCCD is the largest undergraduate institution in Texas.
For more information, contact Jonna Fernandez in the CVC office of marketing and public information at (972) 860-8147 or Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs at (214) 860-2478.
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Press contact: Ann Hatch, 214-860-2478