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‘Songs & Symphonies’: A closer look at a longtime favorite

| Denise Olson, Videographer Glen Mabie

Classical. Hip-hop. Indie. 80s rock. Bluegrass. Country. Alternative.

There are about as many different varieties of music today as there are listeners to enjoy them, and what exactly drives us toward our personal playlist is somewhat of a mystery. But helping students open their minds to appreciating a variety of genres and artists along with their favorites has been the life passion of Dr. Jerry Young, professor emeritus of music and longtime University Honors Program instructor at UW-Eau Claire.

“Songs & Symphonies,” formerly known as “Music Appreciation,” is the longest running course in the University Honors Program, and after spring semester 2016, Young will officially retire from his impassioned teaching of the class.

As students and the Honors program savor every last minute of this musical journey with Young, it’s time to celebrate this most adored professor and class.  View the video above for a look inside the classroom, and hear from current and former students exactly how Young has created a truly life-enriching student experience in “Songs & Symphonies.”

The director of the University Honors Program, Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch, described the legacy of this course:

“Dr. Jerry Young’s ‘Songs & Symphonies’ has opened the ears, hearts and minds of generations of Honors students to the miracles of music — from Beethoven to Billy Joel. Dr. Young’s dedication to all his students and to the University Honors Program is exemplary. He has taught us all how to live well each minute by loving deeply what we do and by being warmly interested in others.”

For more information about the University Honors Program, contact Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch at