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Angela Vaughn Hampton is director of choir/handbells at Floyd Central High School and artistic director of Voces Novae choir. 

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2021 Most Admired Woman — Arts

Director of choir/handbells, Floyd Central High School and artistic director, Voces Novae
Family: Spouse Mark Hampton
Neighborhood: Georgetown, Indiana

Angela Vaughn Hampton has been listening to the tinkling of piano keys since she was an infant in a playpen. Her mother is a musician who taught piano in the home and played organ for St. James Church in South Louisville for over 50 years. Angela began piano lessons when she was 5 years old and went on to major in music education in college. Although she considered majoring in musical performance, by going the teaching route, she has been able to collaborate and make music with others in ways she never expected.

What is the best thing about your career?

I enjoy making music with people. I enjoy playing by myself, but it’s more enjoyable to work with others, whether it’s a small group of musicians or a full chorus like I have with Voces Novae. With my job at Floyd Central, I enjoy seeing students’ musical growth and seeing them be able to make music on a level that they couldn’t do on their own but can as part of a group.

What are the challenges of your career?

Time management, because I do like being busy, but there are times of the year when it gets tough trying to juggle everything. There are teaching challenges. I don’t like grading, but obviously, as a teacher, that’s something I have to do.

In what ways do you try to empower the young women you know?

I try to be a model for them of confidence and independence. I want them to see you can be confident in what you do but not be inflexible. I want them to think for themselves. I try to make the most of our song texts when we sing texts that have to do with relationships. I make sure we take time to talk about what healthy relationships are. I do make sure when we sing music by female composers that we look into those composers a little bit.

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What is your favorite type of music?

I would say hymns. I grew up with them, and I’m a faith-based person.

What items do you have on your bedside table?

I’m a minimalist. I have a TV remote, an alarm clock, and a box of tissues. I’m not a clutter person. Now my desk at school would say otherwise.

So what is your school desk like?

I’m a Post-It note person. There are no fewer than 20 Post-It notes on my desk. The ones that are urgent are posted to my laptop. There are a couple of piles of catalogs.

In addition to Post-It notes, what other items do you collect?

Because I have a background in handbell ringing, I do have a collection of bells. My father used to travel a lot for business, and he would bring me bells. I also have treasured bells given to me by students. I have quite the collection of Christmas ornaments. My mother would give us an ornament as children and she continued to do that. I have the better part of 49 years of keepsake ornaments from my parents.

How do you relax if you’ve had a long day of teaching followed by a performance at night?

When I lived in Louisville and had that situation, I didn’t go home in between. I would start my day here after 7am and it might be 10:30 before I left the building at night. COVID-19 hit right in my first year of living in Georgetown, so my schedule hasn’t been the same. It is very nice now that I can go home and have dinner [in between activities]. If I’m finished for the day, [I like] a glass of red wine and sitting on my porch. If I need to blow off steam, I go to the gym. If it’s been really bad, I go to the piano.

If you could meet any composer, living or deceased, who would you pick and why?

Bach. He’s my favorite composer. I’ve been able to go to Germany and see where he was born and died. I think it’s fascinating how broad his compositional chops were.

P.S. Purchase your tickets for the revamped Most Admired Woman event, being held at The Gillespie. Be a part of history as former Today’s Woman owners Cathy Zion and Anita Oldham pass the baton to new owner Tawana Bain. You won’t want to miss this night of sisterhood!

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