As a professor of music and director of the opera workshop at the University of West Georgia for almost 25 years, Dr. Larry Frazier witnessed a vast ensemble of student performers achieve success as performing artists and teachers.
He also saw them excel in the business sector.
To showcase these similarities and the harmonies they often create, Frazier and his wife, UWG alumna Mary Lynn, recently established the Frazier Music Major Business Internship Opportunity.
“We hope it can help music students be more aware of how their studies relate and potentially prepare them, not only in the field of music, but also for success in the world of commerce,” Frazier said.
He recognized how employers in the world of business might be unaware of how music graduates could be assets to their companies.
“Fine musical performances demand excellence and personal responsibility of each individual performer, but these skills are almost always presented in collaboration with others,” Frazier said. “Performances and concerts ensure that music students learn to perform under the pressure of public scrutiny. These personal skills and responsibilities carried out among a team of individuals have direct parallels in the field of business.”
The Fraziers met with Dr. Pauline Gagnon, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Kevin Hibbard, chair of the music department, to discuss how they could support the relevance and marketability of music graduates in the workforce.
“The Frazier Music Major Business Internship will help students develop technical and professional skills that will enhance their careers following graduation,” explained Hibbard.
It also allowed the couple to show their gratitude to their former employer and alma mater.
Frazier began teaching at UWG in 1988. Mary Lynn – the daughter of two alumni – received her bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in nursing from West Georgia in 1971 and 1990, respectively. Frazier explained the skills she developed in her studies were instrumental in her developing and implementing an outpatient diabetes clinic at Tanner Medical Center, certified by the American Diabetes Association, and in subsequent practice as a clinical educator consultant for Pfizer.
“It is no exaggeration to say West Georgia is a most important institution in each of our lives,” Frazier shared. “We’re happy to give back to UWG in appreciation of what it has meant to us while supporting the university in light of our interests and experiences.”
Students selected for the Frazier Music Major Business Internship Opportunity will receive scholarship support for a music business internship course; one six- to eight-week internship opportunity in an innovative business environment in Carrollton, such as GreenCourt Legal Technologies LLC; and a stipend to assist with business dress attire and living expenses.
“We are very excited about this wonderful new opportunity for music students to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, thanks to the foresight of Dr. Larry and Mary Lynn Frazier,” Hibbard concluded. “We are most grateful for the Fraziers’ support of the music department and our students.”