Studdard Coming To UTC To Teach

From left, Camm Ashford, Associate Editor, Chatt News Chronicle with Ruben Studdard, American Idol winner and UTC Masterclass Instructor; are joined by Studdard’s long-time friend, Stacy Lightfoot, UTC vice chancellor for diversity and engagement. (Photo: John Edwards, III, CNC)

By Shawn Ryan

“American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard will be joining the full-time faculty at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Starting fall semester 2022, he will teach two courses, one on the commercial side of the music business and one on the performing side, said Stuart Benkert, head of the Department of Music.

On March 7, Studdard presented a masterclass at a rehearsal of the UTC Singing Mocs. Winner of the 2003 season of “American Idol,” he listened to the group’s performance, gave advice and offered singing tips.

“I think when Ruben came to do a masterclass, he proved to everyone that he is not only a great performer but an excellent teacher,” Benkert said.

“He immediately connected with the students in a relevant and meaningful manner. He improved their level of performance and increased their awareness of what it takes to be performer.”

When course enrollment for fall semester begins, students from all majors can sign up, not just music majors.

Studdard returns to UTC on March 28 to hold another masterclass with the Singing Mocs, and the public is invited.

During the masterclass, sponsored by the Department of Music in collaboration with the UTC Division of Diversity and Engagement and the Tivoli Foundation, Studdard will recall his career in the music industry and guests can watch as he coaches the Singing Mocs to refine their performance.

The masterclass event is from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Walker Theatre. Tickets are $10 for the public, and UTC students will be admitted free with a valid student ID. A $50 VIP ticket includes a general admission ticket and access to an after-class reception.

Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster.