Music Speaker Seminar Series Welcomes Eric Knost ’86, Rockwood Superintendent

| January 27, 2015
Music alum Eric Knost

Webster alumnus Eric Knost ’86, now superintendent of Rockwood, spoke to students of how Webster helped form him and gave him the tools to anticipate any career.

With some of the Webster University professors who taught him looking on, Eric Knost ’86 returned to the Department of Music last week to visit with current music students about how Webster University helped form him and gave him the tools he now employs as Superintendent of the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, one of the largest districts in the region with more than 30 schools and more than 21,500 students.

“We try to bring in people who are doing something now they didn’t necessarily think they might be doing when they were in college,” said Jeffrey Carter, chair of the Department of Music. “Dr. Knost is a Webster alum who certainly never expected to be a major administrator when he was a music education major here in the 1980s. But he spoke eloquently to students about how we prepared him to be a band director, and where this journey has taken him.”

“Lives change when people come into contact with other people who care,” Knost told the music majors in attendance, before exhorting them to be one those people who care. “Life is tough, but the way you find happiness in life is in what you do and how you do it.”

Remembering a life lesson learned from faculty members Steve Schenkel and Paul DeMarinis (both in the audience at his talk), Knost said, “You can have all the chops in the world, but you have to have brains and hear to do music well. You have to practice, and you have to consistently apply yourself.”

Annual Seminar Speaker Series

Knost, a lifelong resident of the St. Louis area, is one of an annual series of seminar speakers for music majors. Subsequent speakers this semester include Webster faculty members Barry Hufker speaking on the history of recorded sound, and Bob Chamberlin giving a “last lecture” before his retirement after 42 years at Webster University.

David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, also will present a seminar later this semester.

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