From The Mississippi Link Newswire
LORMAN – Rhonda Price’s road to graduation from Alcorn was not easy. But you will never guess that this smiling young lady with a beautiful singing voice had to overcome many obstacles and “turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones” to become one of the top students in the Department of Fine Arts, earn many awards and recognitions, and travel around the country with Alcorn State University’s Concert Choir performing and entertaining audiences of all ages.
A Detroit, Michigan native, Price came to Alcorn in 2004 as a freshman music performance major. She was happy to be here eagerly learning from her instructors, earning high grades, making friends and performing all over the state of Mississippi and across the nation.
“I was in my third year at Alcorn, when I got seriously sick,” shared Price. “I had to withdraw from school, go back to Detroit to have surgery and to be under the supervision of my dad.”
When she recovered, her father’s health started to decline, and the roles shifted – Rhonda had to become a caregiver for her dad. Unfortunately, her father never got better and passed away in 2010. Devastated, Price had to make a decision, what should she do next? Remembering conversations with her father about her future, and missing her alma mater, she contacted Alcorn to see if she could come back to finish her degree.
“I talked to the Department of Fine Arts and was so happy to hear that they decided to give me another chance,” remembered Price. “I got my scholarship back and came to Alcorn to continue my studies. I am so thankful to my Department and the University! If it wasn’t for them, and the spirit of my father guiding me, I would have never been able to fulfill my dream and graduate.”
Since returning in 2011, Price got to work with doubled energy earning high grades, participating in the Department’s activities, touring with the choir and taking part in campus organizations.
Dr. Lawrence Konecky, chairperson, said, “Rhonda is a talented, mature and focused young lady. We are elated to have her back. She has excelled in all her endeavors and serves as a role model for our music majors.”
Having a clear goal in front of her, persistence, hard work, and dedication allowed Price to become one of the top students in her Department earning a nomination for the ASU Foundation’s Outstanding Student Award for Excellence 2013.
Upon her graduation this Saturday, May 11, Price has her future mapped out: she has been accepted with a full graduate assistantship into the graduate music program at Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.
“I feel blessed, excited and a little nervous, but I know that my instructors at Alcorn prepared me well to go out and compete with some of the best students in the region and the nation,” admits a happily smiling Rhonda. “I will forever remember my time as a student: my voice lessons, the warm family atmosphere of my department, my friends and our beautiful green campus.
And I will be thankful forever to Alcorn for supporting me, educating and showing me the way to success and shaping me into the person I am now.” She added, “My ultimate goal is to finish my master’s and perform for an opera house somewhere in the U.S. or even overseas. I would really like to do something to give back to my alma mater: hold a master class, set up a scholarship fund to support students or organize a summer camp for students interested in music. It is my dream and I will work hard to make it a reality.”