UCA professor to receive Governor's Award

John M. Erwin, director of choral music at UCA, tomorrow will receive the 2008 Arkansas Arts Council Governor’s Individual Artist Award.

The 2008 Governor’s Arts Awards are sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council and will take place tomorrow at noon in Ballroom A at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

The Individual Artist Award category is for artists active in the field of architecture, contemporary crafts, design, film, literature, performing arts or visual arts.

Erwin’s recognition marks the second time in three years that a UCA faculty member has won the award. In 2006, sculptor Brian Massey Sr. received the honor.”There are so many deserving artists,” Erwin said. “I’m very honored that I was singled out. It would have been very easy to pick any of my music colleagues here at UCA and around the state. I think of myself as a collaborative artist. I cannot do what I do without other people.

“I have to inspire, lead, and nurture that kind of willingness to create beauty in sound. And that’s my livelihood, my passion. And I cannot do it alone.”

Erwin is the conductor for the UCA Concert Choir and the UCA Chamber Singers. He is in his 35th year at UCA and has had a number of successes during his tenure. Under Erwin’s direction, UCA’s choir was the Grand Prize Winner of the Great American Choral Festival in 1982 and also winner of two gold certificates at the Riva del Garda International Choral Competition in Italy in 2004.

Dr. Rollin Potter, dean of the UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication, said Erwin was most deserving of the award.

“John Erwin continues to make outstanding contributions to the artistic and musical lives of thousands of Arkansans,” he said. “UCA’s Concert Choir and the Arkansas Chamber Singers, both under John’s direction, are truly musical treasures that we all cherish.”

One of the most popular of Erwin