David R. Widder honored with emeritus status
David R. Widder, professor of music in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1973, Widder contributed to the scholarship of music through his work as the founding director of the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and through his study of clarinet mouthpiece design, historical wind instrument performance practice, and many solo and chamber music performances.
Widder was the conductor of the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble for 30 years. In 2004, many of his former Virginia Tech clarinet students honored him by returning to campus for a surprise performance on his final wind ensemble concert.
He taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses across the music curriculum, particularly applied clarinet and wind ensemble, and advised many students preparing for junior and senior year recitals. Many of Widder’s students went on to have successful careers in music in public schools and professional music settings.
He performed at conferences of the International Clarinet Society and Double Reed Society. In addition, he frequently performed in the University Chamber Music series, Virginia Tech faculty chamber music concerts, and performances with the New River Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Roanoke.
He also was the founding director of the Virginia Tech Honor Band and the Virginia Tech Summer Band Camp. These camps bring approximately 500 students from five states to the campus each year.
Widder received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts from North Texas State University.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.