Curtis brings music to world

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By Chanelle Williams / Asst. Features Editor

By Chanelle Williams / Asst. Features Editor



“I don’t know why Viewpoints would want to do another story on me,” said Peter Curtis, who teaches for the Music Performing Arts department at Riverside City College. 

He claims there is nothing that interesting about him.

One would say otherwise after looking at his track record. 

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee School of Music in Boston, got a master’s in music from Yale and did not stop there. He then went on to get a doctorate in classical guitar from Indiana University.

If that was not impressive enough, in 2007 he released a CD that featured compositions that he penned and renditions of songs by famous artists, Stevie Wonder and Thelonius Monk.

His recent accomplishments include teaching for the Study Abroad program. He decided to be a part of the program because he enjoyed traveling. 

When he decided he wanted to be a part of the Study Abroad program, Curtis had to apply and be interviewed by a committee. 

Jan Schall, coordinator for the Study Abroad program, said that what the committee looks for in  applicants is “academic reputation, willingness to be mentors to students who were often away from home for the first time and ability to be responsible for students in a foreign country.”

“Peter Curtis is well-reputed, in terms of getting along with students,” Schall said. “He is well liked by students and has been a fine addition to the study abroad program.”

Curtis recommends students to plan a semester overseas. “It’s an incredible experience for students,” he said. 

RCC offers students a chance to live and travel in a foreign country at a price that is affordable compared to the UC and Cal State schools.

Curtis said it was too expensive for him to study abroad when he was in school. 

He taught music appreciation in Florence, Italy in the fall of 2005 and in Oxford, England last spring semester. 

In his teaching, he likes to teach on subject matter which pertains to the environment the students are living in. 

For example, when he taught in Oxford he focused on classical British compositions. 

Curtis was able to display his musical talent on both trips. 

“What is interesting about Peter Curtis is that he is an amazing classical guitarist,” Schall said. “It didn’t take long for the Florence community to discover this and he was in quite a demand to play.” 

The community liked him so much they wrote a feature about him in their local newspaper. 

Schall said she made a trip out to Italy half way during the program and was amazed to find an article about Curtis. 

His favorite memory from  semesters spent abroad was going with the students to the Roman Forum and Coliseum during his trip to Florence. 

“I guess…that site was awe inspiring and being there with students on some of the most historically relevant sites in the western world is…priceless,” he said.

Curtis strongly recommends students to experience what the Study Abroad program has to offer. 

“I encourage all students to try it. It is well well worth it,” he said.



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