Towson University Faculty/Staff News • April 27, 2005
   
    

In tune with TU

Veteran faculty member to be feted for 40 years of service to the university

Pianist Reynaldo Reyes says he once taught in "the dungeon," the name he and his Department of Music colleagues bestowed on their dank, subterranean studio in Van Bokkelen Hall.

"When it rained, there was a problem," he recalls. "Water would creep in."

Reyes lived in downtown Baltimore and at first took a taxi to what would soon become Towson State College. "I didn't drive, so it was the only way I knew to get here," he chuckles.

"All of my salary went for the taxi."  

In retrospect, the campus of 40-plus years ago seems notable for what wasn't  there: the Center for the Arts, the Towson Center, Unitas Stadium, the University Union, Cook Library, Hawkins Hall and several other academic, administrative and residential facilities. "All I knew was Stephens, Van Bokkelen, Richmond and Newell," Reyes says.

Through the 1960s Stephens Hall housed the music faculty, plus every other academic department. "It was a cozy, intimate atmosphere," he remembers. "I knew everybody, from the president on down, and I enjoyed that."

He also knew all 16 of the college's music majors--especially his four piano students--and says they were a far cry from '60s campus activists. "Music students tend to be a little more conservative, a little more refined," he explains. "The discipline is so rigorous that it shows in their characters.

"When I visit other colleges to study other subjects, the students there seem wild to me."

Now in his fifth decade at TU, Reyes has no plans to retire. "I love what I do," he says of his demanding international concert schedule and his work with students. "I started teaching at age 9--all of my life has been teaching and practicing and school.

"I find that the older I get, the better I teach. That's what has been so wonderful about Towson--the more experience I had, the easier it was.

"If I didn't teach here, I'd be teaching at home. It's my life."

Reynaldo Reyes, professor of music, will be among the more than 300 members of the faculty and staff to be honored  next week at the 21st annual Service Awards Luncheon.     

 

Story by Jan Lucas/Photo by Kanji Takeno

 

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