Lee University professor composing music for January's President - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lee University professor composing music for January's Presidential Inauguration

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A Lee University professor is working around thee clock to arrange and compose music for the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. next year. 

Dr. John Wykoff tells Channel 3, he fell in love with the art of composing at a very early age. He considers the job to be an honor and an act of service.

"We have students who are so amazingly talented," said Dr. John Wykoff. 

This is Dr. Wykoff's 6th year at Lee University and from music theory to composition, all of his students are eager to learn.

"This is an outstanding school for music, it's really become a leader in the nation for music and a great place to study , it's a fantastic place to work," said Wykoff. 

His most important lesson, 

"Shape your dreams according to what's true and good and choose that," is now playing a big role in perhaps one of his biggest projects yet, 
the presidential inauguration. 

"It's gotta be kind of universal without sentimental, it's gotta be exactly the right thing," said Wykoff. 

There's no doubt this year's election has the nation divided. 

"Crazy is precisely the right word," said Wykoff. 

Finding the right genre, melody and lyrics has been a challenge. He says he thinks about his audience when writing. 

"This This is an audience of utter diversity," said Wykoff. "What are the true things that can bind everyone together?" 

The first song will be an arrangement of the Appalachian folk song " Beautiful Morning," 

He says the second piece will be a new original, something that usually takes a year or two to pull off . It doesn't have a title just yet but the test is coming from Poet Michael Dennis Browne. 

"Of course everybody has to have chance to say no that is not going to work we'd like something else," said Wykoff. "So yes my deadline is sort of the end of October, which is upon us." 

A 50 member Missouri State Chorale will perform both pieces, each are about 4 minutes long. 

Dr. Wykoff says he's not nervous or anxious, just thankful for the opportunity. 

"Hope in our small way my collaborators and I'd be very grateful if at the end of the day, people had a sense of hope that's grounded in truth," said Wykoff. 

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