Faculty Spotlight: Bill Adams

Bill Adams grew up on a farm in Kentucky and developed a love for music, through playing the piano and singing in the church choir.  Inspired by his mom, who taught college theater courses, Adams started acting in community theaters at the age of nine.

Adams is an associate professor and the coordinator of the Division of Performing and Visual Arts in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.

Before receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the University of Kentucky, Adams attended The University of Edinburgh in Scotland where he was intrigued by the diverse culture and atmosphere.

“Studying American history with a Scottish professor was mind-blowing because they see what happened in history from a different perspective than we do,” said Adams.

Once he saw how advanced the music students at Edinburgh were, Adams decided to go back home to continue studying music. After returning to the states and completing his master’s degree, Adams decided to move to Orlando where he worked as a singing waiter at a restaurant and later performed with the Orlando Opera Company.

“Working at the singing restaurant was a good experience. I kept learning and it helped me make some good connections,” said Adams.

Adams wanted to continue his education and decided to move to South Florida, where he attended the University of Miami and earned a doctorate in vocal performance. Once he graduated, Adams made the choice to move to New York City to pursue a career in theater.

Besides having to go to countless auditions and deal with all the expenses of living in the big city, Adams eventually had the opportunity to perform in an opera and an original world premiere production based off of the poem “The Rape of The Lock” by Alexander Pope.

Adams said that aspiring performers have to learn that auditioning is just one part of getting a job — the rest is networking and being the right person for the position.

“Once you are at the audition, it is your time to go and you just have to deliver. It’s a crazy experience and it’s different every day, but it’s about finding something inside of you and knowing that it is what you are there to do,” said Adams.

After later moving to Pittsburgh and working at universities there, he was offered the position at NSU and relocated back to South Florida.

Returning to the Sunshine State was wonderful for Adams — especially because, in his opinion,  NSU had many exciting plans for its performing arts division.

“I started talking to people from NSU and was told about all the things planned for the arts. They planned on constructing a building and creating all the degree programs. It was exciting to get to come and be part of that,” said Adams.

Adams has been at NSU for six years and teaches a variety of classes, including arts administration, vocal performance and musical theater — in which students are taught to communicate and adapt to any situation. Adams feels that the small classroom setting is great for students.

“Our students are very successful in finding their way in the business, largely because they are getting individual attention from faculty who are still in the business,” said Adams.

Adams also offers advice for students who aspire to study music, but are a bit weary of doing so.

“I understand the fear of having a music degree, but music gives great mental skills in theory and fundamentally in communications, so they should take the risk and try it,” said Adams.

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