Singer Christopher Eaglin Performs at Parents & Friendsby: Parker Dunaway ‘15 Staff Writer
The phrase “You can go anywhere with a degree from Hampden-Sydney,” is tossed around a lot when people talk about life after college, but in the broader sense, one analyses this statement as a testament to the nature and quality of the instruction at HSC—a good liberal arts education. Christopher Eaglin got that same kind of schooling at Morehouse College where he graduated at the top of his class as the valedictorian. He went on from there to graduate from Oxford with a MPhil in development. According to his bio, Mr. Eaglin went from school to work in Africa as the regional director of business development for AES and was also worked for an international consulting firm focused on renewable energy, climate change, and natural resources. Mr. Eaglin became a successful member of his business community, but he came to a point in his life where he realized, “ … a very big part of [him] was missing.”
Throughout Eaglin’s youth, music had become a part of his life. He attributes his musical interests to his grandfather: “My grandfather was a jazz musician… he was my most forceful advocate of music.” However, “When he died, I was nineteen, and I stopped.” Well, Mr. Eaglin decided that it was time for him to pursue his former interests, and over the recent years he has become an accomplished operatic tenor. His resume within the arts has grown rapidly and immensely.
His radical career change didn’t happen without proper preparation. His liberal arts education at Morehouse taught him lessons that would follow him much later in life. He said, unfortunately, Morehouse didn’t have a large arts program while he was there, but he also said, “What Morehouse gave me was that if I work hard there is nothing that I can’t do.” The liberal arts education that Mr. Eaglin got at Morehouse followed him throughout life and helped him follow the path that he ultimately choose to go down. The goal of Hampden Sydney students is to also attain that specialized education that will allow and enable them to be able to follow what they truly want to do, and Mr. Eaglin is an example of how people can go anywhere with a liberal arts degree—even from Africa to the opera stage.
As of now Mr. Eaglin has advanced his singing career to magnificent levels in a short amount of time. He has performed not only throughout the US, but also in Europe and Africa and has accumulated many awards and recognitions. His skill was greatly exhibited this past Thursday night in Parents’ and Friends’ Lounge. Mr. Eaglin, accompanied by Robert Kopelson on piano, preformed a number of varied solos— many different pieces from Schubert to African-American spirituals. His performance and program for the night demonstrated the stages of an emerging young adult: choosing one’s path in life, love, and reflection and spirituality. Needless to say, his delivery was flawless and beautiful.