'Legendary' music educator recognized by scholarship at Marshall University

Updated 6 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Janice Chandler Gold, shown at left with her daughter, Robin Chandler Wilks, has been recognized for her work in the Huntington musical community with a scholarship for music education at Marshall University.
Janice Chandler Gold, shown at left with her daughter, Robin Chandler Wilks, has been recognized for her work in the Huntington musical community with a scholarship for music education at Marshall University.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation Inc. has announced a significant endowment to provide scholarships for music education students at Marshall University. The Janice Chandler Gold Scholarship was established through a gift from Dr. Stephen M. Wilks ('68) and Robin Chandler Wilks ('71), with additional contributions from friends and former students of Janice Chandler Gold.

Gold is being recognized for her years of service to the musical life of the Huntington community, including her years of teaching music to students in Cabell County; training of teachers as mentors and student teaching supervisors; and as the director/conductor of numerous vocal ensembles and choral groups in the Huntington area. The annual award will be given to a full-time student majoring in music education who is in good academic standing.

"Our daughter Kelly ('01) had a five-year, three-quarter tuition scholarship for her cello performance degree from Marshall and it was most appreciated," said Robin Wilks, who received a music education degree from Marshall.

"We have always been grateful for and proud of the top-flight music education available at Marshall." "I had a small scholarship my last year at Marshall, thanks to Dr. Tom Scott, and also for medical school at Emory," Stephen Wilks said.

"Both of our families are full of educators parents, brothers and sisters. A good educational foundation is a 'springboard' for opportunity. It is a privilege to be part of this process."

Nearly 200 singers from several states, all of whom were in Gold's a cappella choirs at Huntington East High School between the fall of 1958 and the spring of 1983, will present a free concert titled "Here We Come!" under Gold's direction at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Huntington High School's main auditorium.

As part of the event, Gold will be presented with a certificate to commemorate the scholarship. Debby Stoler, a former student of Gold's and assistant director of development and outreach in career services at Marshall, is organizing the event. "Janice Chandler Gold is an amazing lady and a bundle of energetic talent," Stoler said.

"She has brought music to our community and enriched our lives in numerous ways over the last 50-plus years. I feel so privileged to work with her and our hardworking committee to make this reunion happen. A scholarship assures that her legacy of devoted teaching of music continues long into the future." Melanie Griffis, senior director of development at Marshall, and also a former student of Gold's, said that the scholarship is important for many reasons.

"For a student studying music education, this scholarship is important on several levels," Griffis said. "It recognizes that student's achievements as a musician and future teacher. I can't think of a better example for an aspiring music teacher than Janice Chandler Gold. She is legendary in the Cabell County and surrounding school systems for the quality of her musicianship and teaching, but also for the teachers in our region whom she has trained. On a personal level, I was one of her students at Huntington East High School. I've experienced her in action and to have this scholarship to give to future teachers who will know her by example and can aspire to exemplify her career is a really exciting prospect for the future of music education at Marshall."

Griffis noted that the Wilks understand the need for financial support during college. "This particular scholarship is designed to relieve much of the financial burden for the recipient, but still requires a personal financial responsibility," she said.

"Motivated by the Marshall experience of their own daughter, Kelly Wilks Maxwell, the Wilks believe it is important that the students take some ownership in the cost of their education." "Kelly was given a scholarship at Marshall that paid for about 75 percent of her education," Stephen Wilks said.

"She worked to provide the remainder. We believe that the combination of help from her scholarship and her personal investment made her education that much more important to her."

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