Conservatory Unveils New Buzzy Statue

By Brian Hunt

On Sept. 30, Shenandoah University hosted an unveiling ceremony outside of Ruebush Hall for the Conservatory’s new Buzzy statue. President Tracy Fitzsimmons opened the ceremony, thanking the personnel responsible for the planning and construction of the statue.

“We were able to do this because of the estate of Suzanne McKown,” Fitzsimmons said.

McKown was a former board member of Shenandoah University and also the chair of the university’s landscape committee. She left plans and annual funds for the university to use for the beautification of the campus, with this year’s funds going towards the construction of the Conservatory Buzzy.

The statue was created by Cindy Billingsley, from Cookeville, Tennessee. She was also responsible for creating the other two Buzzy statues around campus. The statue is bronze and depicts a sitting Buzzy playing the saxophone. The statue is the shape and size of a person, and the saxophone that it is holding is an actual saxophone that was used for the clay and bronze molding.

After Fitzsimmons finished speaking, Conservatory Dean Michael Stepniak and Professor of Saxophone Tim Roberts had the honor of unveiling the statue to the public. Roberts then explained the planning and construction process of the statue. The saxophone was the most difficult part of the sculpture to make as its 300 moving parts were hard to translate onto the statue. Billingsley and Roberts, after a month of planning, agreed to buy a saxophone and embed it into the statue with clay and bronze.

Stepniak concluded the ceremony by thanking all the donors among the crowd who helped out Shenandoah University with their donations.

“Everywhere around campus that you look now there are beautiful things in good part because of the generosity of donors,” he said.

A crowd of over 60 people attended the ceremony while the weather threatened to rain. However, the ceremony concluded without interruption from the overcast weather.

Michael Fantom, a conservatory student commented on the statue, “It represents the inspiration that the conservatory gives to the music community.”

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