As the Print Services Supervisor, he is responsible for translating/transitioning art and design to the printers, helping maintain the professional, HQ standards in all of the Print Center’s works. You have probably seen some of Chuck Conjar’s work, but have you heard his work?
In case you haven’t heard the word, Chuck Conjar is also a musician, and now a local celebrity. His song, “Ocean City Days,” recently won Ocean City’s 2012 “Song of the Summer” contest. The contest boiled submissions down to three finalists, then fans of the city (and the musicians) voted for their favorite. Chuck secured a solid win, receiving more than half the votes. But the accolades do not end there; Chuck will also be recording his song professionally with producer Bryan Russo, with the result being offered as a free iTunes download sponsored by Ocean City, and performing at this year’s Sunfest.
But the man behind the music is far more than you might guess. When I contacted Mr. Conjar asking (lightheartedly) to interview Towson’s “mysterious troubadour,” I had no idea my lighthearted wordplay would prove so appropriate.
I admit I wasn’t expecting a man so dedicated to his work. He has been writing songs for 40 years, and music for him is far more than a hobby relegated to the basement. He assumes a fatherly role: “My son has graduated from Towson and found a great job, my daughter is going into her senior year of high school and my youngest child just won the Ocean City “Song of the Summer” contest.” “My songs deserve to go as far as I can take them,” he says, “and I promised I would chance something like this [contest] for them.” This was his first contest, and it is “exciting having attention after 40 years of dedication” and having his efforts rewarded with such warm sentiments.
With music, you are “involved with a powerful and important force,” he explains. His band Double Play, which consists of Mr. Conjar and Larry Dernetz, has participated in community benefits such as the grand opening of Annie’s Playground (and a few TU functions as well). The opportunity to perform his song at Sunfest is thrilling. Ocean City, an annual retreat to hallowed ground, has been an integral aspect of Chuck’s life. The chance to be onstage, helping the sun set on yet another wonderful summer at OC, promises to be a moving experience for Mr. Conjar.
This force has only served to enrich his life, including his already rich, 30+ year experience at TU. Told that his recent musical triumph has given his colleagues “something to feel good about,” Chuck is very “appreciative and humbled” by the incredible support he has received at the university. All the emails circulating, the votes, recognition, help and camaraderie around “Ocean City Days” have proved heartwarming. “It has taken my life on campus to a new level”, and “enhanced the workplace” in “heartwarming” ways, he says.
I honestly wonder when Mr. Conjar sleeps. In addition to all of this, he teaches psychology part-time at Harford Community College, and he is an active member of his church where he also volunteers as a youth counselor working with teens. Every year he accompanies the youth group on the Rock Retreat in – you guessed it – Ocean City, MD. To an outside observer these pursuits might seem scattered and disjointed, but for Chuck, they all compliment and balance each other in a fluid synchrony. Music, TU, printing, psychology, church, youth counseling, family – it all makes sense to him. “Music”, he feels, “is a path to open up what’s inside you. You are the instrument.” And it appears that Mr. Chuck Conjar is in perfect harmony.
See & Hear Chuck’s music!
WMDT: Chuck will be playing unplugged on the TV morning show “Good Morning Delmarva” at 6:45a.m. on Wednesday, Aug 15. Channel 47 Salisbury
WBAL radio interview with Mary Beth Marsden