James Sochinski, professor of music in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1977, Sochinski made significant contributions to music at Virginia Tech as a composer whose works, notably the “Legend of Alcobalca” and “Sweet Land of Liberty,” have entered the standard repertoire and been performed across the United States and around the world.

In addition, his arrangements for The Marching Virginians — including the “Hokie-Pokey” — have been heard by millions, both live and on national television and radio broadcasts. These arrangements have provided the soundtrack for generations of Hokies.

Sochinski also performed as the bass trombonist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra for 33 years.

Considered a leading authority on the use of technology in the music classroom, Sochinski has presented his scholarship at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference, the Music Educators National Conference, the National Symposium on Music Instruction Technology, the Virginia Department of Education, and The Appalachia Educational Laboratory.

He has developed and taught a variety of innovative undergraduate courses, including both History and Analysis of Musical Styles and Orchestration, placing strong emphasis on innovative applications of technology, for which he was recognized with the Teaching Excellence Award and the XCaliber Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning in 2008.

Sochinski received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree from the Peabody School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami.

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