There’s a new honorary member of the Music Department — meet Knight Bug!
Knight Bug is a classic toy 2004 model VW Beatle (the first modern remake of the classic punch bug) body with a (not so) powerful 6-volt motor. He's 100 percent electric, with the towing capacity of a small squirrel that has really let itself go.
We got the skinny on Knight Bug in this exclusive interview:
Juel: If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you Knight Bug?
KB: 13 Human years. That’s almost 28 toy car years. Toy cars years are calculated at π(human years). Don’t ask me why!
Juel: And what have you been up to recently?
KB: Recently, I’ve been between jobs. My child driver grew up. I lost my battery charger. Then my motor seized up. I was unsure what to do with myself. This last year I’ve just been sitting in a garage gathering dust.
Juel: That sounds tough. What’s going on now?
KB: I’ve always sort of idolized Knight Bus [KB blushes a bit]. When I heard that Knight Bus was retiring this year, something just clicked. I got a new paint job and came to college to see if there was some way I could lend a hand. Maybe chauffeur the president to important meetings. Or, be a spokesbug for the college — that kind of thing.
Juel: That’s wonderful! Thank you for acting on your desire to help out at the college. How have things been going?
KB: Well, the people at WVC have been wonderful, very welcoming. I figured out how to register for classes. Took a short tour of campus. Checked out the new two-year music degree (Music DTA). Chilled in the MAC Gallery (it is amazing)!
Juel: Yes it is. I have to agree. Is it safe to say we might see you every now and then at WVC?
Juel: Last question (for now): Now that you’ve looked around campus, do you have any future plans or aspirations? Maybe join the Chamber Singers?
KB dreams of becoming President of WVC someday. (“If the parking stall fits…”)
WVC Music Faculty Spotlight: Ken Hunnicutt
Ken Hunnicutt is a professional pianist who teaches at Wenatchee Valley College and maintains a studio with the Columbia River Music Conservatory. Very active as a collaborative pianist (he accompanies and works with vocal and instrumental soloists), Ken also serves as President of the Board of Icicle Center for the Arts, Vice President of the Wenatchee Valley Music Teachers Association and works on several committees that administer music scholarships in the community. In short, Ken is a leader, active musician and teacher in the local music community.
At Wenatchee Valley College, Ken teaches Class Piano (Music 125), Music Appreciation (Music 105), and Private Lessons in piano (Music 111).
WVC Music Program Director Juel Iwaasa sat down for a quick interview with Ken about the classes he teaches at WVC.
Juel: Tell us about Music Appreciation. What is it and who should take the class?
Ken: Music Appreciation is great class for anyone who loves music. It is an intro to Music History, and counts as a Humanities class in most transfer degrees. Music History meets 4 days a week in the traditional face to face setting and then has one day a week online. In Music Appreciation we learn about history’s greatest composers and how to listen to their music. We even put this in the context of world history.
Juel: What is the best thing about playing the piano?
Ken: Piano is perhaps the most versatile of the musical instruments! It was a favorite instrument of many of the greatest composers. So, playing piano exposes you to not only some of the greatest music ever written but also allows the pianist to participate in almost every genre of music - solo works, concertos, chamber music, vocal literature and other collaborative work. I truly enjoy playing with others, including working with young musicians as they develop their soloist skills.
Juel: On the subject of piano, tell me something about your WVC piano classes.
Ken: Class piano starts at the beginning: we learn the basics of notation, theory, music terminology, and how these apply to learning piano. Part of each class allows students to work independently. Whether you are a beginning player or have some background, there’s a lot to gain from this class.
Juel: How much do students have to practice for class piano? Do they have an opportunity to perform?
Ken: Students are expected to practice at least 20 minutes a day, 4 times a week. (Juel’s note: Students can use the practice rooms in the Music and Art Center!) Everybody in the class is encouraged to play for each other. At the end of the term the class performs for each other on the Steinway in the Grove Recital Hall.
The department offers a wide variety of credit classes, including:
MUS 100 5 credits
Introduction of Music
A super-fun, hands on class that is probably different from any college course you have ever taken! Instead of a textbook, students purchase and use a ukulele to master music theory and build music skills. In Music 100 we learn to read music (as well as chords and scales) how to begin songwriting, and how to practice effectively. Prior music experience is always good (but never necessary)
Who should take Music 100? Students that want to learn how to read music and then go deeper into how use notes, chords and rhythm to build songs. People who are interested in getting a good foundation in ukulele, or want to learn how to practice effectively. A great primer for the perspective music major or music minor. Fulfills 5 credits of Humanities in most DTA degrees.
MUSC& 105 5 credits
The classic! People looking for a traditional lecture class to fill their Humanities requirement need look no further. Music Appreciation takes you through music history from the time of the Greeks to the beginning of the 20th century. Ever wondered why Mozart was so great? Or why Beethoven was so angry? Or how to pronounce names like “Liszt, Chopin and Bach”? Want to learn how to listen to classical and know what is going on? Want to learn when to clap (and not clap) at the symphony? This is the class for you.
Music Appreciation has a unique format of 4 days face to face instruction with an expert teacher, and one day of online work that helps you solidify your understanding of what you learn in the face to face lectures.
MUS 116 5 credits
Introduction to Music/Audio Technology I
An intense one term course that gives you all the skills you need to get around in Finale (professional music notation software) and Pro Tools (the industry standard in recording and post production software), while learning the basic of acoustics, microphones and signal processing!
The Music and Art Center at WVC has a 12-workstation music tech lab (so space is limited) and a professional recording studio with all the software and equipment you need to learn the fundamental how’s and why’s of sheet music production, and recording techniques. The course culminates in student defined final (recording) projects. Music 116 does all this and even counts as a Humanities distribution in most DTA degrees!
Music or audio background is always a plus (but not required). Good study skills are a must though. Students don’t buy a textbook, but will need good headphones, ¼ inch adapter and 8+ gigs of space on a USB thumb/flash drive.
MUS 125 1 credit
Piano Class Instruction
Class piano is like taking a group piano lesson twice a week! Expert pianist Ken Hunnicutt will guide you from beginning piano through to intermediate techniques. Class is held in the Music and Art Center Keyboard lab (10 workstations- so space is limited!) Daily out of class practice is expected so your piano skills can grow up nice and strong. (But don’t worry, every practice room in the Music and Art Center has a piano you can use.) Also available in 200 level/size for the intermediate pianist.
Who should take Class Piano? You! (and you, and you over there too!). Class piano is a great option for anyone who wants to learn or improve his or her keyboard skills and get some Humanities credits. A super-affordable alternative to private lessons. Class Piano is a required course for non-keyboard music majors and minors.