By Mildred Collins:
On April 29, a reception was held at Assumption College to commemorate Professor Margaret M. Tartaglia’s (Ms. T to her students) retirement from her position as Director of Music Ministry.
Ms. T grew up with a strong connection to her faith. She became interested in her church and began singing in choir, later becoming cantor and song leader at Masses. Her love of music was not tied exclusively to Catholicism. She began singing at Congregational Churches and for all different religions in Synagogues, learning more about them along the way. This is also where she developed an interest in directing.
She later on pursued an operatic voice career (Opera Singer). She soon discovered a love for helping others, especially helping students hone their voices and talents. Having always been interested in teaching, she decided to use her talents to continue helping students as a music and voice teacher.
She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree of Music Education with a Minor in Vocal performance and did Post-graduate work in operatic performance and vocal disorders and dysfunctions.
She started off as an elementary music teacher in Marlborough MA., K-6 along with teaching at the Jr. High and the High School. Several Years later she obtained a job as Director of Women’s Glee Club and A cappella Ensemble at WPI. Right after that she was a private studio voice teacher before finally arriving at Assumption College. She is also a Master Teacher at the McColsky Institute of voice.
Mrs. T has been Director of Music Ministry for seven and a half years and teaching for seven. With her friendly demeanor and lively personality, she quickly become very popular and beloved by her students, as Julie Craven, a student who took Ms. T’s Beginners Voice Class says:
“She knows a lot, she’s really great. People recommended me to her before I even took the class.”
Since becoming Director of Music Ministry, she has devoted herself to building and expanding the department, and it shows. When she arrived, Music Ministry only had six ministers, now it has around forty.
Unfortunately, the decision to step down as Director was not her own. It is a financial decision based on Assumption College combining various parts of Music Ministry. This new move requires someone Directing student ensemble and fulfilling the responsibilities of the position, along with being a full-time member of campus ministry and accompanying all music liturgies. Requirements Ms.T just didn’t fit.
However, she has refused to let this development break her spirit, and she will be staying on as adjunct Professor in the music department along with teaching private voice lessons. She is also pursuing a Masters in Health and Advocacy. As Ms. T herself says:
“Life hands you challenges or changes, and you can use them as a way to change direction or as an obstacle to stop you.”
Regardless of what life has in store for her, Ms. T says she will always be grateful for the opportunity to develop Music Ministry for students. She has learned a lot from them and hopes to carry it with her wherever she goes.