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Featured  Faculty Friday’s began last February to highlight the faculty of the College of Arts and Communication. With another February almost done, we have a whole new group of faculty for you to get to know!  Our first featured faculty member is the Professor of Clarinet and from the Music Department. Last year, he composed a piece for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s preview performance before they headed to Carnegie Hall. Have an idea of who it is? The featured faculty for this Friday is Christian Ellenwood! Read on to learn more about him.


Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is a lot like Madison, but without lakes.


Q: What do you do at UW-Whitewater?

A: I teach clarinet, clarinet ensemble, woodwind techniques, music theory, and chamber music. I perform as a clarinetist frequently on and off campus, and I am an active composer. Additionally, I serve as master advisor for our college and department.


Q: What is your favorite thing about UW-Whitewater?

A: The people here are of the highest quality—compassionate, intelligent, dedicated, helpful, engaged, and supportive. I feel, in the music department, that we have a team of faculty who are committed to nurturing growth, inquiry, creativity, and success.


Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: I nearly pursued a career in the visual arts. I enjoy painting, drawing, and photography. I love the outdoors, especially hiking and kayaking (ocean, lakes, and rivers), and much of my musical composition is inspired by nature. I also enjoy cooking—particularly improvisatory cooking, using whatever is at hand. Basically, anything involving nature, people, or making things is something that I enjoy.


Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

A: My superpower would be the ability to show human beings the ACTUAL perspective of other human beings, so that they could REALLY see the world from within another person’s mental, emotional, sensual, and spiritual framework. If people could actually experience this, then there would be true growth, empathy, and understanding, and we might actually save the planet. I suspect there would be less fear, less hatred, and more connectedness. All humans living today share 99.9% of the same genes, yet we harm and destroy each other, and the planet, for incredibly ridiculous reasons.


Q: What’s the best thing that you have ever done that you suggest others try?

A: Snorkeling. Everyone should snorkel, and see the miracle of an ocean reef. We all belong to the sea, and the health of the sea is tied to our survival. If people could see how very beautiful it is, they would be more invested in preserving it.


Q: What’s your favorite movie? Book?

A: Can’t choose a movie; favorite books are Song of the Lark by Willa Cather, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Q: What is your best advice for students? 

A: Find your passion, the one thing that you cannot live one day without, and do that, with all of your heart, in service of the world. This is what you will do best, and it is what you must give to the world. The world does not need mediocrity; there is an excess of that already. The world needs your best, so find that which you do best, and grow in it, for your entire life.


Q: What’s one thing that you want people to know about you?

A: For me, the essence, the very core of life is all about love. Love of people, love of growth, and love of experiences, coupled with a motivation to reduce the needless suffering in the world.


Interested in learning more about him? Ellenwood’s professional bio is below:

Christian K. Ellenwood is a passionate recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral clarinetist.  Dr. Ellenwood has performed with the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet, the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, the San Francisco-based Ives Quartet, the EastWind Quintet, and is frequently heard in live radio broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio. Dr. Ellenwood has presented solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States and Pacific islands of Japan, Guam, and Hawaii. He performs as principal clarinetist with the Skylight Opera of Milwaukee, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, and Bel Canto of Milwaukee; and he performs frequently with the Milwaukee Ballet, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the Madison Opera. His clarinet playing can be heard on the Albany Records release, Music of Chris Theofanidis, and on CD projects produced by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he serves as Professor of Clarinet.

As a teacher, Dr. Ellenwood is committed to the musical and intellectual growth of his students, and the quality of his teaching has earned significant recognition from his students and colleagues, including the W. P. Roseman Award, UW-Whitewater’s highest honor for excellence in teaching, as well as multiple inclusions in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  Dr. Ellenwood has also received UW-Whitewater’s Outstanding Research Award and the University Faculty/Staff Academic Advising Award.  He has held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, Rocky Ridge Music Center, and New England Music Camp.

He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Indiana University, where he was an I.U. Fellowship recipient, and the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded Edith Babcock and George Eastman scholarships.  Major teachers and pedagogical influences include Kelly Burke, Eli Eban, and Peter Hadcock.


Thanks for being the featured faculty for this Friday Christian Ellenwood.