Written by | Tashana smith |
Before Dr. Jim Rauscher retires after more than three decades of teaching music at Amarillo College, he will perform a farewell recital.
At the event at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 8, in the Concert Hall Theater on the Washington Street Campus, Rauscher will perform some of his favorite pieces from Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy on the piano.
“I am happy to be doing this,” Rauscher said. “It is my way of giving back to the community for all they have given me. Music is my passion. It is something that I love to do.” Rauscher, former chairman of the music department, has been at AC for 35 years. Besides his teaching job, he also is a music director with his wife, Vanessa Rauscher, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He plans to continue at St. Mary’s.
“It’s difficult to think about retiring when you have been with a certain place for so long, but it’s my time, and I am ready,” Rauscher said. “There is a good thing to my retiring, and that is I get to spend more time with my grandkids, and continuing to be music director for St. Mary’s.”
During all his years at AC, Rauscher said he has learned how to listen to the students and has tried to be as attentive as possible to their needs. “It takes many years to become a great teacher, and after all my years here at AC, I am still learning how to become that great teacher,”
Rauscher has been a music professor and also served as music department chairman from 1988 to 2013. He has been a principal keyboardist for the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He began studying piano at the age of 6 in his hometown Medford, Wisconsin. He received a Ph.D in fine arts in 1991 at Texas Tech University.
Written by | SALVADOR GUTIERREZ |
The auto collision technology program has been a part of Amarillo College for three years. The program has existed before but went into a break for a long period of time. Eddie Casias, a 23-year industry veteran, leads the program.
“Kids can come in and learn to do body work like painting,” Casias said. “Some students come in and want to do it as a career and others to help their parents on their own family business.” Courses involve painting, welding and general auto body repair.
The program lasts two semesters, and it does not require students to have any knowledge about auto body repair. When students enroll in the program, they do not have to buy any books. Students enrolled in the program describe the hands-on experience as better than reading books because they get physical with what they are learning.
According to program coordinator Brian Jacob, there are more job opportunities for auto body technology majors than in the past. Few new people are entering the auto collision business to take the place of people who are retiring. Casias said he is ready to take students and make them job-ready for any body shop.
For more information, check out the video at acranger.com.