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necessary.” In addition to her music classes, she said she particularly enjoyed math with Mr. Walston, philosophy with Dr. Potts, and English with Mrs. Alexander. Svetlana, or “Svieta” as her close friends know her, worked hard at Methodist. She made A’s on most of her courses and worked as a student assistant in the Office of Church and Community Relations. All her hard work was rewarded this spring when she received the Willis Gates Music Award, the Elizabeth H. Weaver Award (for outstanding contributions by a coed), and the Stacy Weaver Award (given by vote of the faculty to an outstanding senior). She said living on campus—two years in Honors Hall and her last year in Cape Fear Commons—was a valuable experience that forged lifelong friendships. “This past year I enjoyed being able to cook things I like,” she added. Among her off-campus excursions and shopping trips, one stands out. “My first semester here a group of us went to the National Hollerin’ Contest in Spivey’s Corner,” she recalled. “Someone hollered ‘Amazing Grace.’ It was great fun.” Since she graduated, Kurs has been staying with the Rosses in Durham and the Snyders in Fayetteville. In July, she plans to spend a few weeks with her family in Belarus before returning to begin work on a master’s in music at UNC-Greensboro. Her long-range goal is to earn her doctorate and teach music at the college level. She said she intends to keep in touch with her friends in Fayetteville and Durham and hopes to be back on campus for homecoming the last weekend in October. on the Sparrow.” “The song I sang most was ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ in both Russian and English,” she said. “I used prerecorded background tapes a lot.” When Kurs sang in churches—usually Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian— members would often say to her afterward, “This was inspiring. I needed to hear this today.” Kurs said the audiences’ warm responses, coupled with the encouragement she received from her host family, teachers and friends reinforced her Christian faith and made her want to work harder on her studies. At her graduation, she and classmate Brad Laub sang John Rutter’s anthem, “A Gaelic Blessing.” In June, she sang “The Lord’s Prayer” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” at an ordination service during the North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. A Russian bishop was the guest speaker. Kurs performs with the MC Concert Choir at the baccalaureate service. The songs she performed at her senior recital were selected by Dr. Sue Snyder, her voice teacher. They included classical works by Handel, Schubert, Fauré, Duparc, Bernstein, Grechaninov, Gounod, and Goncharenko. Her program included 18 songs encompassing five languages. When her recital was over, she received a standing ovation from the 200 persons in attendance. “I’ll never forget the response and the turnout,” she said. eacher & Student: D . Sue Snyder and Svetlana at the baccalaureate service. Kurs said her teachers at Methodist were outstanding, and they say the same of her. “Dr. Snyder has meant a lot to me as a voice teacher and a friend,” she added. “She challenged me. She is able to explain why certain singing techniques are

Summer 2001

Methodist College Today


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