Multi-talented Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill can add one more title to his resume: Professor.
Gill, who’s won more Grammy Awards than any other male country artist, was recognized as an honorary professor in the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University Feb. 23 during a conversation and performance at the campus for the Tom T. Hall Writers Series.
The series, which celebrates songwriters, authors, poets and screenwriters, offers students, faculty, staff and the public a chance to learn more about the creative process as well as the business end of success. MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry offers courses in commercial songwriting, music publishing, artist management, concert promotion and touring, audio engineering and production, just to name a few.
“Vince connected naturally and immediately with our students and faculty during his talk, and they heard firsthand how the creative process of songwriting works,” Mass Communication Dean Roy Moore said about Gill’s two-and-a-half-hour visit. “He communicated eloquently and passionately to our students the hard work, dedication, persistence and imagination involved in succeeding as a songwriter and an artist.
”This honorary professorship is a recognition by our college of him as a master teacher. He’s one of the best examples of true artistry: he creates, he inspires, and he shares who he is and what he does with others.”
During the session, Gill, a Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year and host for the CMA Awards for more than a decade, advised students not to aim toward fame but to “do it ‘cause you love it.”
The Oklahoma native, who’s called Nashville home since the early 1980s, has been performing since high school and recording for 30 years, winning multiple awards with classics like “When I Call Your Name,” “Look at Us,” “I Still Believe in You” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” His most recent release, “These Days,” was a groundbreaking four-CD set with each disk focusing on a different musical genre: country, bluegrass, jazz and rock.
Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and is the 2009 Artist-in-Residence for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He just received the Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Instrumental Performance, bringing his career total to 20 Grammy wins. He also is currently nominated for a pair of Dove Awards for his contributions to “How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From The Grand Ole Opry” and “Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume One.”
For more information about the Tom T. Hall Writers Series at MTSU, call 615-898-5150.