Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, has taken major steps to rebuild its music program under the direction of R. Wayne Woodson, who joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. The college no longer offers a music major and the college’s music collections have dwindled.
Woodson told the Augusta Chronicle that “when I was in college, Paine had a huge music program. It actually had one of the best programs in the state. The choir had 80-something people in it. We had a full faculty. We offered several degrees in music. In its heyday, it was a very substantial program.”
Now Woodson and a part-time instructor are the only music faculty. The number of members in the choir had dropped to under 30.
But there are now 43 members in the choir, which Woodson says is an important fundraiser and recruiting mechanism for the college. Last year the choir raised more than $20,000 which was applied to the purchase of sheet music and for travel to performance venues.
Woodson hopes to restore the music program to its former glory will a full 80-member choir, an orchestra, additional faculty, and several music degree programs.
Woodson is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He holds a master’s degree in music from Georgia State University.