For over three decades, Immaculata University students have benefitted from the talent, support and encouragement of William B. Carr, DMA, Steinway Artist, and a distinguished professor of music and piano at Immaculata. Now, alongside his role at the University, Carr is extending his expertise to a younger generation as he returns to his high school alma mater, the Malvern Preparatory School, as its first scholar-in-residence.
Carr, a 1968 graduate of Malvern Prep, which is located about three miles from Immaculata’s campus, helped to formally launch the Scholar-in-Residence program with a solo concert on October 12 at the Duffy Arts Center on the campus of Malvern Prep. The program’s inaugural theme is creativity, so Carr’s objective is to underscore the pivotal role creativity plays in the learning and problem-solving processes. In fact, he is well versed in this topic, having founded Informance Associates, Inc., a consulting organization dedicated to creative problem solving and decision making for multinational corporations. During his career, he has presented to Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. and internationally on using creativity to solve problems.
Leveraging his profound expertise, Carr will guide Malvern Prep students through learning exercises aimed at equipping them with creative problem-solving techniques. He will showcase his own creativity by performing for the Malvern Prep community, which include concerts like the one he performed to launch the program. Accompanying Carr in a series of concerts will be performers from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. The performance series begins in December, featuring Ji Su Jung, the first solo percussionist to receive the Avery Fisher Career Grant and faculty member in percussion at the Curtis Institute of Music.
“I want to show that learning can occur not only through assessment but through process, facilitation and modeling,” Carr stated. He intends to use musical excellence as a living example of creative thinking in motion.
At the end of the school year, Carr hopes students will have acquired the ability to think creatively by deductively seeing problems through the lens of concepts as well as through analysis. He firmly believes that this approach affords students greater opportunities to generate solutions to existing problems, beyond the confines of mere analysis.
In his experience, the biggest challenge for high school and middle school students in understanding creativity will be analogy learning, which is essential to creativity. Whereas college students naturally have more life experiences to draw upon, he points out that this is where the younger students can utilize their motivational connections to sports, or other interests, that allow for analogies to be made to musical performance.
“Bill Carr’s dedication to his craft is witnessed every day by the students at Immaculata who benefit from his commitment to teaching them. I have no doubt that the students at the Malvern Preparatory School will also experience the same mastery of his musical performance and teaching talents,” stated Barbara Lettiere ’72, president of Immaculata University.
After graduating from Malvern Prep, Carr received the Irving Berlin Fellowship for graduate studies at Temple University and then earned a scholarship to the Graduate School of the Juilliard School in New York, studying piano performance with world-renowned teacher, Adele Marcus. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Carr continued his studies with post-doctoral performance certificates from the Munich Conservatory in chamber music and from the Liszt Conservatory in piano performance in Weimar, Germany. To broaden his education, he earned a master’s degree in international relations/international business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Throughout his thirty-year tenure at Immaculata University, Carr has amassed accolades such as the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and multiple Teacher of the Year awards from the Steinway Piano Corporation. He has served as chair of the music department and has been a member of various academic and campus committees. He also initiated and hosted concerts at Immaculata featuring the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2006, the Steinway Corporation added Carr to their roster of Steinway artists.
As a prolific and sought-after pianist, Carr has been invited to perform solo recitals across the U.S. and Europe at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall and Kimmel Center. In 2014, he traveled to Italy, in conjunction with the International Opera Company of Milan, to conduct solo performances as a Steinway Artist in Siena, Florence and Milan.
Carr’s outstanding achievements as a professor, consultant, live solo pianist, and role model of excellence to Immaculata’s students are now being shared with a younger generation at a crucial stage in their personal, social, and academic development.
“I am grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to use my talents in a unique way to broaden the perspectives of young students through musical performance and creativity,” Carr said.