Two years ago, the music department at Pacific Union College welcomed Asher Raboy, longtime director of the Napa Valley Symphony, into its ranks. He directed the college's symphonic wind ensemble and taught a few classes in orchestration and counterpoint. Now, Raboy has joined the department as a "resident artist of music," teaching and directing a full load of classes and ensembles and giving students a chance to tap even more into his extensive music experience, leadership, and talent.
Raboy's impressive music career includes serving as the music director of the Napa Valley Symphony since 1990; traveling as a guest conductor and conducting various prestigious ballets, symphonies, and youth orchestras; composing a wide range of works; lecturing and writing; and teaching students from ages four all the way through college level. At PUC, he has created a community of music and learning that students are anxious to be a part of. "Asher Raboy is the most amazing teacher I have ever had," said senior music major Matthew Reeves. "His passion is apparent, and his ability to motivate students with that passion is what makes him a great teacher.… He is about practicality, and about usefulness, and about learning."
What convinced Raboy to devote even more time to a small, rural college? It is, he says, "because I found my work here very rewarding — more so than I expected, and my expectations were high," he explains. "Teaching at this level can be a rich experience at many institutions, but I found the community, faculty and students at PUC made my time here truly powerful."
In both the small advanced theory classes and the larger ensemble experiences, Raboy has found the community and relationship to be valuable. "I have found that these close interactions with students have revitalized me. I'm at an age when many professional musicians are jaded. The talent, enthusiasm, caring, intellect, youth and energy of the students have taken me away from the jaded and kept my own approach to music fresh and fun."