SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – During Evangel University’s homecoming celebration, Oct. 9-11, Dr. Candace Wicke will be recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus for 2014.
The award presentation will be made during a noon luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the University Plaza Convention Center.
Wicke, a 1983 graduate, is founder, president and executive director for the Continuo Arts Foundation in Westfield, N.J.
As the first female conductor-in-residence at Carnegie Hall to groundbreaking and historic appearances around the world, Wicke has served as mentor for hundreds of young professional vocal and instrumental artists in addition to thousands of singers and ensembles across the United States.
She has had opportunities to conduct at Carnegie Hall in New York, Notre Dame Cathedral in France, and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It was the latter that caught the attention of Disney Theatrical Productions.
Wicke has been contracted to provide the chorus for the 2015 premier of the musical Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. On this project, she will be working with composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell and Pippin).
Wicke’s roots are deep at Evangel. She grew up around campus, as her father, Jesse Peterson, served 11 years as the music department chairperson. She returned to Evangel as a student and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. She also holds master’s and doctoral degrees in conducting from the University of Miami.
After graduation, Wicke taught music for 16 years at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy. She then was conductor-in-residence with MidAmerica Productions of New York
“God is faithful to use a vessel that is prepared,” she said, remembering her time at Evangel. “It was at Evangel that I began to look at ‘ministry’ with a broader perspective. Ministry is not only pastoral — serving in churches and as missionaries. We are all God’s chosen ministers to whatever world is opened up for us.”
Three additional alumni awards are being given during this year’s homecoming celebration, and the recipients are chosen by the Evangel University Alumni Association board:
- Evangel Outstanding Young Alumnus — Dr. John Clements
- CBC Distinguished Alumnus — Rev. Jimmy Jack
- CBC Outstanding Young Alumnus — Rev. Bobby Hawk