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Mental health discussion on high-stakes performance anxiety is April 18

  • April 07, 2022
Presented by UAB Arts in Medicine, experts will provide insight into what happens physically and mentally surrounding a high-stakes performance and how performers can address the fear.

vmhm streamJohn E. Gampher, Ph.D., and Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, DMAFor a Virtual Mental Health Monday, University of Alabama at Birmingham Arts in Medicine will present two experts to provide insight into what happens physically and mentally surrounding a high-stakes performance and how performers of all types can address performance anxiety.

UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ faculty Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, DMA, and John E. Gampher, Ph.D., will discuss “The Psychology of Performance in Arts and Athletics” at noon Monday, April 18. The event, via Zoom, is free and open to the public; register online.

Gampher, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, teaches sensory processing, neuroscience, philosophy of science and more. As a former child and adolescent therapist, Gampher has worked in settings including inpatient, outpatient and school-based and for the Department of Children and Families. His work has transitioned from clinical to neuroscience, electrophysiology and psychophysics related to visual perception. Gampher, a former National Science Foundation fellow, researches the application of psychological principles to business, the legal system and sports. He has served as a consultant for the United States Army and for sports teams. 

Hurst-Wajszczuk is associate dean of the UAB Honors College and professor of voice in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music. Her research interest in managing performance anxiety has expanded to wellness for students of all majors. A soprano hailed by the Journal of Singing, she performs on stages nationally and internationally, and Naxos Records recently released her world premiere recording with clarinetist Denise Gainey to critical acclaim. Her opera productions at UAB have won top national awards.

Hurst-Wajszczuk has presented mindfulness workshops for music teachers and music programs in universities around the country, including for UAB’s student mental health ambassadors. A licensure trainee through the Association of Body Mapping Educators, she is currently the only Koru-certified meditation teacher in Alabama. Her recent national and international conference presentations include the National Collegiate Honors Council, International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the College Music Society national conference and The Voice Foundation. This summer, she is slated to present at Honors Education at Research Universities in Houston, Texas, and at the International Conference of Voice Teachers in Vienna.