This summer, The University of Southern Mississippi welcomed Richard Kravchak as the new director of the Department of Music for the fall semester.
According to Southern Miss Now, Kravchak is a renowned oboe and English horn soloist who has travelled across multiple continents performing solos and ensemble pieces of varying styles. Kravchek has received degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School and Florida State University.
He has been invited to perform both contemporary pieces, which is what he specializes in, and pieces from many different historical periods. Some of these performances include The International Double Reed Society, The North American Saxophone Alliance, Festival Forfest, the International Clarinet Society and other distinguished organizations of musicians, according to Southern Miss Now.
Kravchak has performed in ensembles, concertos and chamber music recitals around the world. He was honored with the Platinum Apple Award by United Teachers of Los Angeles, named Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Teacher of the Year and was named a Bravo Finalist by the Los Angeles Music Center.
Kravchek said he is incredibly passionate about the future of the celebrated music department at Southern Miss.
“I think that Southern Miss’ music department is an undiscovered gem, and my goal is to make it a discovered gem,” Kravchek said.
According to Kravchek, USM is not just one of the highest quality departments in the state but in the whole southeast.
Claire Sanguinetti, a third-year graduate student working on a dual masters in choral conducting and music theory, said Kravchak is a jolly person.
“[He] has made sure to say hello to me every time he sees me,” she said. “He seems like the type of person that knows what he is doing and will make a personal effort to further each student’s career.”
Kravchek said he has also invested in new advertising measures to bring more attention to the department’s arsenal of performances and awards, such as new banners surrounding the music buildings and programs that will send music students all over the world to showcase the department’s talent.
“I want to try to send an ensemble to Peru to play a concert,” he said. “It’s an up and coming plan.”
Kravchek said he hopes to see his students’ performances spread across the world.