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Chris Goddard, senior in music education, plays his trombone in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell on Wednesday, May 1. Goddard is a non-traditional student and will graduate in May with both his bachelor’s in music education and his master’s in music performance. Gracelyn Haile

Music student receives both bachelor’s and master’s for graduation

Chris Goddard, senior and graduate student in music education, has been involved in music for a majority of his life and he will soon receive the culmination of his work at Pittsburg State University. 

Goddard, a native of Olathe, Kansas, is currently finishing up his second tour through the department of music and is set to graduate after a final class and the submission of his master’s thesis this summer. 

“The way the music faculty recruited me and introduced me to music majors was a major factor in my college decision…,” Goddard said. “…I only visited two colleges and felt at home.” 

Goddard graduated with his Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in trombone performance in 2008 and after a year off, he moved into a graduate program in trombone performance. After two years of coursework, he was offered a position at Coffeyville Community College (CCC) as instrumental music instructor. 

“I was there (CCC) for five semesters before I realized I was a horrible educator,” Goddard said. “For a while, I swore off teaching and I worked odd jobs to pay the bills before finally deciding at 31 years old to complete my education requirements and the last few hours of my Master of Music degree.” 

Goddard, since starting his first degree at Pitt State in 2004, has been an active member of the musical community in Southeast Kansas and the surrounding area. He has played with the PSU Wind Ensemble, SEK Symphony Orchestra, and the PSU Jazz Ensembles. During his undergraduate degree, he started the local rock/ska band Zero 2 Panic with fellow music students and the band performs regularly at festivals and independent venues. Goddard also plays in the Crossroads Jazz Orchestra, a jazz big band based in Neosho, Missouri and directed by PSU professor of trumpet Todd Hastings and staffed primarily by Pitt State music graduates and professors from around the area. In addition to his active participation in musical life, he taught many future transfer students to Pitt State during his tenure at CCC. 

Goddard says that his return to Pitt State feels more like a homecoming than anything else. 

“Pittsburg feels like home and it’s been hard for me to stay too far away from the music department…,” Goddard said. “…Returning was just a matter of finding classes that were open and fit my schedule. The faculty (have) always been incredible at making sure everything is in order… getting to be in class with another batch of music majors has been a blast. This degree has given me the chance to be in the same classes as a couple of my former students which has been a wonderfully fulfilling experience.” 

After graduation, Goddard will begin a position as the K-12 music instructor at St. Paul public schools in St. Paul, Kansas. 

“It’s a dream job for me…,” Goddard said. “…I’m looking forward to the challenge of being in a very small school but still providing a worthwhile musical experience for each student… I still plan on playing as possible in Zero 2 Panic, Bill and Monica’s Excellent Adventure, the Crossroads Jazz Orchestra, and the SEK Symphony. I’ll hopefully find some time to go on walks with my wife and puppy, too.” 

Goddard currently resides in Pittsburg with his wife Amanda, a fellow music educator, and dog Clara. 

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