Villanova’s performing arts teacher, Dr. Hoffman, aka “Doc Hoff,” taught her last class of the semester on Friday, Feb. 19th, 2016 and is now on maternity leave. Although we are happy for our beloved teacher, her last day was full of bittersweet goodbyes.
Doc Hoff joined the Villanova community just three years ago (2013-14 school year), starting out with one music theory class, until the 2014-15 school year when she took over the performing arts department. Since then, Doc Hoff has introduced a different genre in choosing the plays and musicals: comedy. In a brief interview before her departure, Doc Hoff commented on how she’s felt about her experience taking over the performing arts department at Villanova.
“The experience . . . has been exceptional. I like to take on challenges and I enjoy taking risks, so doing something new and different always excites me. . . My main goal with my students is to encourage them to get out of their comfort zones and to stretch themselves to learn something new and to try something new even if it feels uncomfortable or difficult.”
This new style and encouragement definitely brought results as more than 60 students auditioned for and were cast in this year’s spring musical The Wizard of Oz––the largest yet.
With her willingness to take risks and challenge students to step out of their comfort zones, Doc Hoff has managed to take the choir class to the next level this year before her temporary departure. The choir class, a mixed group of experienced and inexperienced music students, represents what unity truly means at Villanova. Following the choir’s performance of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Emmanuel,” and “O Holy Night” at the Advent assembly in December, the choir will also perform two songs at the talent show in March, featuring a Beach Boys song and a classical French song––two ends of the musical spectrum.
In addition to taking over the performing arts department, Doc Hoff has amplified the voice of music on campus. With the beginning of traditional events such as the lighthearted Cafe Night and spontaneous karaoke competition hosted by the Music Club, the talented sounds at Villanova are louder than ever. Doc Hoff has made her mark at Villanova, to say the least, and she leaves her students with these words of wisdom:
“Trust yourselves. Some students expressed that they were afraid they might not do well without me there to help guide them, or at least they were nervous. I want them to know that their success rests inside of them, and it will come out if they trust in their natural talents and in their abilities to grow stronger with practice and perseverance. Then there is my mantra: ‘It doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing.’”
Don’t worry; Doc Hoff will be back next year, but while she’s gone, Mr. Crowley will be joining the Villanova Community. Mr. Crowley has experience in teaching, theatre, and a talent for the guitar. If you see Mr. Crowley, please welcome him to Villanova!