Myall to bring passion for music to 3D lecture

Myall to bring passion for music to 3D lecture

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020


LaGrange College First Lady Celeste Myall couldn’t stop smiling after a recent rehearsal of the LaGrange Youth Orchestra. She serves as the group’s conductor.  

“I came home overjoyed because it was such a good rehearsal,” she said. “There is nothing like teaching!”

Myall will have another teaching opportunity at the Feb. 24 session of 3D Journeys, the college’s popular travel and lecture series now in its 10th year. The lecture will be at 10 a.m. in Dickson Assembly Room.

The 2020 topic, “Alps to Lagoon,” focuses on northern Italy. Myall’s presentation, “The Golden Age of Violins and Virtuosi,” will highlight Cremona, home to several fabled violin-making families, including Stradivari. She also will discuss Vivaldi, the celebrated composer and violinist, who hailed from Venice.

The lecture will be a bittersweet experience for Myall. She and her husband, LaGrange College President Dr. Dan McAlexander, helped found the 3D program as newcomers on campus just over 10 years ago. With Dr. McAlexander set to retire July 1, this is her final 3D Journeys series as First Lady.

Celeste-Myall.jpgMyall is quick to credit others with growing the series in both popularity and impact.

“I wish I could take credit, but it’s been the 3D committee that’s made it such a success. I have never seen a committee quite like this – so intelligent and motivated, so professional, with so many skill sets.”

The 3D Journeys concept, which focuses on a different country or region each year, also contributed to the success, she believes.

“The idea was to showcase the faculty, which Dan is so proud of, and to get people on campus, to share the college with the community. I know I have learned so much, and I think that’s true of all our audience members. No one ever gets tired of learning.”

Ann Beason, recruited at the outset by Myall to co-chair the committee with the late Judy Boggus, is still on board, with Nancy Durand as her co-chair.  The veteran leader says Myall is being too modest.

“The idea for 3D Journeys was hers and Dan’s,” said Beason. “She has been the spark that kept it all together. We gathered around her table, mostly as acquaintances, and became friends. Credit her with making it fun to work together.”

Preparing for the lecture has given Myall an opportunity to revisit earlier periods of her career and draw on the experiences of a lifetime in music.

It was music, in fact, that brought the first couple together, when both were performance majors at the University of Kansas – she a violinist and Dr. McAlexander, in her words, “the best pianist in the school.”

She discovered her love of teaching while a graduate student at Manhattan School of Music in New York. Her professor and mentor encouraged her to work with some of his talented students.

“I found I loved teaching.”

 Performing was also a priority.

“For a long time, I was a relatively intense violinist,” explained Myall, who was concertmaster of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra for 15 years while she and her husband were on the faculty of Hardin- Simmons University in Texas.

She continued playing and teaching at Nashville’s Belmont University, where Dr. McAlexander served as provost, and was a member of highly regarded chamber music groups. She loved working in musical theater, serving as pit conductor for numerous productions.

Her direction changed again in 2009 when Dr. McAlexander became LC president and she took on the role of First Lady. It’s not an official job, but it’s vital and virtually full time.

“It’s been a whole new life, and it’s been wonderful,” Myall said.

With the notable exception of the youth orchestra and scattered performances, she has largely limited her own career to focus on “supporting Dan and making friends for LaGrange College.”

That includes hosting or attending hundreds, perhaps thousands, of receptions, meals, parties, meetings and celebrations. She’s been particularly devoted to spending time with students “because they are so much fun and because they deserve it.”

She’s proud of the accomplishments that have taken place under her husband’s tenure, including the Ida Callaway Hudson Lab Sciences Building, West Side nursing and music facilities, expanded majors and minors and the Servant Scholars program.

And, then there’s 3D Journeys.  The lectures run January through April, with this year’s trip beginning April 28; but the planning and preparation go on year round.

The committee will soon begin work on the 11th season. Myall and McAlexander plan to stay in LaGrange, but will step back from college life, including 3D Journeys.

“We have loved being part of it, but 3D Journeys is definitely not a Dan-and-Celeste thing,” Myall said. “The community has taken ownership of it. We leave it in good hands.”


Campus notes

Katie Van Schoor, City of LaGrange marketing and communications manager, will be in Pitts Dining Hall from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday. She will be talking with students about volunteer and internship opportunities with the city. There also will be registration forms for Service Saturday on March 7.

The final practice GRE Test of the spring semester will be 1-4:30 p.m. Monday in the multimedia room in Lewis Library. To register, e-mail or register online.


Cultural Enrichment events


  • African American Read-In, 11:15 a.m., Manget 308
  • Jan Term 2020 Presentation: Nursing Since Nightingale, 11:15 a.m., Bailey Room


  • “Urinetown: The Musical,” 7 p.m., Price Theater


  • Student Voter Registration, 11 a.m., Library Plaza
  • Jan Term 2020 Presentation: Tales of the Emerald Isle, 11:15 a.m., Corn Auditorium in Lewis Library
  • Leading and Influencing Without Formal Authority, 11:15 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room
  • “Urinetown: The Musical,” 7 p.m., Price Theater


  • “Urinetown: The Musical,” 7 p.m., Price Theater




Men’s Lacrosse
The Panthers began their inaugural season with an 18-3 loss at Birmingham-Southern last Saturday. Tareyon Delgado scored all of the goals for LC. The Panthers host Centenary in their first-ever home game today (Friday) at 7 p.m. in Callaway Stadium.


Women’s Basketball

The Panthers (15-9, 8-7 USA South) lost 57-47 at Huntingdon on Wednesday. Daijah Cousins tied for game honors with 17 points.


Men’s Basketball
Henry Blair had a career-high 26 points for the Panthers (6-15, 5-9 USA South) in an 80-75 loss to Piedmont on Tuesday in Mariotti Gym.


The Panthers (1-2) beat Roanoke 6-2 to split a doubleheader Sunday at Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium. Judd Moore had two hits and three RBIs. E.J. Churchich's home run accounted for all of LC’s runs in a 4-3 first game loss.


Friday, Feb. 14

Swimming at Sun Coast Swimming Conference Championships, Columbus, Georgia, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Men’s Lacrosse vs. Centenary, Callaway Stadium, 7 p.m.

Women’s Tennis vs. Roanoke, Lexington, Kentucky, 5 p.m.

Men’s Tennis at Transylvania, Lexington, Kentucky, 5 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 15

Swimming at Sun Coast Swimming Conference Championships, Columbus, Georgia, 9 a.m.

Baseball vs. Birmingham-Southern (doubleheader), Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Men’s Basketball vs. Pfeiffer, Mariotti Gym, 4 p.m.

Women’s Basketball at Covenant, Lookout Mountain, Georgia, 2 p.m.

Women’s Tennis vs. Ohio Northern, Lexington, Kentucky, 4 p.m.

Men’s Tennis vs. Ohio Northern, Lexington, Kentucky, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 16

Softball vs. Agnes Scott (doubleheader), LC Softball Complex, noon and 2 p.m.

Men’s Lacrosse vs. Hendrix, Callaway Stadium, 1 p.m.

Men’s Basketball vs. William Peace, Mariotti Gym, 2 p.m.

Baseball at Birmingham-Southern, Birmingham, Ala., 2 p.m.

Women’s Tennis at Transylvania, Lexington, Kentucky, 10 a.m.

Men’s Tennis vs. Wittenberg, Lexington, Kentucky, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 18
Baseball vs. Millsaps, Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19
Women’s Basketball at USA South Tournament, TBA

Men’s Basketball at Huntingdon, Montgomery, Alabama, 8:30 p.m.


Video of the Week

This week’s video is a short excerpt from the 2020 MLK Day event. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum outlines the first step toward racial understanding and talks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Community or Chaos?”

To watch the entire dialogue, visit LaGrange College on YouTube.


In the headlines

Panthers lose a close one – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 12, 2020

LaGrange College’s musical theatre to premiere ‘Urinetown’ Feb. 19 – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 7, 2020

LaGrange College hosts Black History Month conversation – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 7, 2020

New season begins for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 8, 2020

Hot shooting leads Panthers to 95-74 win over Tornados – The Transylvania Times, Feb. 11, 2020

Category: Academics, Arts and Culture, College, Community, Events

Keywords: 3D Journeys Myall violin

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 02/14/2020