Will Varner directs the vocal group Messengers of Harmony and is principal accompanist and assistant artistic director of The Women’s Chorus of Dallas. Varner is also on the National Board of GALA Choruses. Varner earned his master’s in music education from Holy Names College in Oakland, Calif., and is former vice president of the Texas Music Educators Association.
1 You received your bachelor’s in Kansas, your master’s in California and even performed in China, why Dallas?
I was looking for a good place to work, a place to work on a graduate degree, and a place with a strong arts community.
2 Do you prefer teaching children or adults?
They’re very different. I enjoy teaching children during the day and working with adults in the evening. Adults are more fragile and need more attention. They have lots of other concerns besides the music.
3 Which aspect of music do you find the most fulfilling — playing, writing, arranging or teaching?
At this point I’m really enjoying writing and arranging, and then hearing my music performed.
4 Do you prefer working with classes, choirs or bands?
Choirs are my first choice. I love working with and writing for voices. When you add voices to music you communicate at more levels at the same time. Vocal music simply has more meaning for me.
5 How does the Women’s Chorus of Dallas use music to serve the community?
They sing for lots of organizations where women are represented and helped in the community. We support philanthropic organizations that help women. We have three big concerts, one of which is performed for women from shelters in the city. We represent women, who are an important part of our community.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 14, 2008