Faculty Giving Highlight: Lisa Chaufty, School of Music

August 14 2018

Why you give:

I have worked full-time at the University of Utah since 1999. And as I reflect upon that fact—the number of hours I am here each day, each week, each year—I realize that I have spent more of my life at the U than I have in any other place. This is my community and it’s one that I care about. The work that I do in this community as a music librarían, performer, and educator allows me to be seen; to share who I am and what I know. That is a gift. And on top of that, I get to work with and learn from so many bright and curious students in the School of Music. Why do I give? I give back because I receive so much.

Your background:

I first discovered what music means to me in fifth grade when I began to play the recorder, as most children do when they start learning music in school. Although I was painfully shy and could not bring myself to talk in class, I could express myself easily through my playing. I moved on to the modern flute—enjoying lots of large and small ensemble playing through all of my secondary education—and forgot about my first instrument until starting college. At Wellesley I became fascinated with medieval and early modern history and cultures, and I returned to the recorder, performing with the school’s Collegium Musicum. Why do I love early music? The musical lines, the relations between the notes, the modes and harmonies; the texts, the timbres of early instruments—all of it speaks to my soul. And as a person who loves to learn, the associated scholarship—discovering new sources and repertories—that comes with planning an early music performance is rewarding and truly exciting to me.

Why you think it’s important to support early music and the arts:

The arts enrich our human experience of this world that we all inhabit together. A musical ensemble could be seen as a microcosm of that shared world. Ensemble playing teaches skills associated with how to cooperate and achieve mutual understanding; learning when it’s your turn to solo and when it’s not; and how to work as one toward a single purpose. With the money that I give through monthly payroll deduction, the Early Music Ensemble brings in guest artists from the local and national professional early music scenes. This exposure enriches the curriculum, connects the students to a larger community, and has the added benefit of lifting the level of knowledge of our own early music community. This coming semester the ensemble will be studying the music of early Mexico and students will learn pieces that may be over 500 years old! Join the ensemble for its semester-end concert on December 8, 2018 in Thompson Chamber Hall at 4:00pm. The concert is free and all are welcome.