Alumnus Visits VWC for Music, Life Lesson

04-04-2013

Alumnus Steve Roberson (1992) visited VWC’s Fine Arts building April 3 to provide students, faculty and staff with a behind-the-scenes look into methods of acoustic guitar building and tonewood selection. Roberson, who earned a history degree and social studies teaching certificate at Virginia Wesleyan, gave a guitar making demonstration during Professor of Music Lee Jordan-Anders’ class "A World of Music.” The course explores the diversity of world music, focusing on American folk, religious, jazz, popular, and ethnic music, and concludes with an overview of Western classical styles. Roberson’s demonstration provided an appropriate segue from discussion about lyrical music into future lessons on instrumental compositions, including renaissance and baroque styles. Roberson grew up in a family of banjo, mandolin, and guitar players, but did not discover his passion for guitar making until the late 1990s when he began restoring old instruments at Isle of Wight Instrument Company. He stressed to students the importance of passion and hard work: “In a liberal arts education, you never stop learning unless you want to. It’s up to you what you want to do with it. Do what you love and the money will follow.” Roberson now owns Colonial Tonewoods, a specialty company in Barhamsville, Virginia that deals high-grade traditional and alternative tonewoods. For more information, visit the Colonial Tonewoods website.