The Quadrivium Project

The five band members of The Quadrivium Project standing outside the NC State University Free Expression Tunnel. Kate Annett-Hitchcock is adding a brick to the wall. The brick is painted as the Union Jack of the United Kingdom. Quadrivium: the four subjects of a medieval university curriculum, comprised of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.

The mission of The Quadrivium Project is to engage faculty and students in a collaborative model based on creative destruction and renewal. TQP’s primary directive illustrates the arts’ (music in this case) potential on campus to catalyze disparate disciplines through synchronic intellectual and creative action. More simply put, The Quadrivium Project is NC State University’s faculty rock band. It’s also a research projeQuadrivium Projectct for the group members and their students, fully embracing NC State’s brand theme of Think and Do. Looking at the music, artistry, history, culture, fashion, physical and emotional well-being, and technology of the artists whose music TQP plays, as well as the logistics of performing a professional rock show with state-of-the-art lighting, design, projections and sound, this research not only informs the performances but also provides students with entrepreneurial opportunities. While thQuadrivium Projecte band’s performances are the public face of the project, and, let’s be honest – a really engaging and fun time for the members! – it’s the research and resulting student projects that will be prove to be the longest lasting and most meaningful contributions. Current and former student projects, emanating from students in a wide variety of majors, are moving from thinking and into doing and will allow other live music groups to benefit from new items which are aimed at making live contemporary music performances more easily successful.

Meet the members

Kate Annett-Hitchcock (vocals). Dr. Kate Annett-Hitchcock is an associate professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, Wilson College of Textiles, at North Carolina State University. Prior to this she was on the faculty at East Carolina University, Virginia Tech and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Annett-Hitchcock obtained her B.A. degree in art history from the University of Manchester; M.A. in clothing and textiles from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. in clothing and textiles from Virginia Tech. She is director of the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs program at NC State, and her research focuses on clothing for health and well-being, product development and design for fashion startups, and historical and cross-cultural inspirations on fashion design. She has authored peer-reviewed articles, presentations and book chapters, mostly on clothing product development for special populations and smart clothing technologies. Outside of the university, she is one half of an acoustic folk/traditional/Americana duo The Barred Owls, to which she lends some mandolin sounds, vocals and songwriting skills. Kate Annett-Hitchcock, Quadrivium Project
Gary Beckman (guitars). Dr. Gary Beckman is director of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Arts, where he developed and administers the nation’s first campus-wide arts entrepreneurship minor. His articles on arts and intellectual entrepreneurship appear in Planning for Higher Education, Symposium, Metropolitan Universities Journal, Arts Education Policy Review, The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society and various essay collections. He was also co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education and principle investigator of the first national study of arts entrepreneurship programs. Beckman earned a Ph.D. in musicology from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in musicology from the University of New Hampshire, and a B.A. in music from the University of Southern Maine. Before his academic life, he taught music privately, was a guitarist for various progressive rock and metal bands in New England, and served as keyboardist for then Boston-based Young American Records artists MRC. Gary Beckman, Quadrivium Project
Tommy Holden (bass, keyboards, guitars). Dr. Tommy Holden is a teaching full professor and former department head for the Department of Health and Exercise Studies. In addition to earning his Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at NC State University, Holden also earned an MBA from Campbell University. His area of focus is in adventure recreation with research interests in technology and how it influences decision-making in the backcountry. He holds numerous certifications and memberships in organizations such as the American Canoe Association (ACA), American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and American Alpine Club (AAC). Holden has also worked as a seasonal lead instructor for mountain and sea kayaking programs at the North Carolina Outward Bound School through the 2000s. He performed and toured the southeast with several local bands as a bassist/keyboardist/backing vocalist throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. He shared the stage with more recognized national touring acts such as Hootie and the Blowfish, Edwin McCain, The Connells, and Dillon Fence. Tommy Holden, Quadrivium Project
Rich Holly (drums, percussion). Rich Holly is Executive Director for the Arts, associate dean of University College, and a professor in the College of Design at NC State University. Prior to his appointment at NC State, he served at Northern Illinois University for 32 years as a professor of percussion and ultimately as the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Holly is a past president of the international Percussive Arts Society, the author of over 150 articles and two books, and a published composer of percussion works. In addition to numerous classical and new music ensemble appearances, he has been performing in rock and jazz bands since the age of 12, including 16 years with Inner City recording artists Rhythmic Union. His public appearances are sponsored in part by Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, and Latin Percussion (LP Music). Rich Holly, Quadrivium Project
Tom Koch (keyboards). Dr. Tom Koch has served as associate director of the NC State University Department of Music since 2011. He heads the music theory program and teaches classes in music theory, ear training, and classical and popular music. From 2013-16, he was appointed interim director and spearheaded courses in music technology, industry, and popular music. An advocate and former teacher of choral music and music theory in the Wake County (NC) Public School System, Koch has been a reader of the College Board AP Music Exam. An active pianist, he performs in NC State faculty recitals and with the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Koch has also played with the Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Opera Company, Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop, and Lancaster (PA) Opera Company. He received degrees in piano performance and music teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Ph.D. in music history and theory from Rutgers University. Tom Koch, Quadrivium Project