Collaboration Strikes the Right Note for Harry Dircks ’24

a young man smiles at the camera

Harry Dircks ’24 has spent the past four years bringing music to Rhodes through the Mike Curb Institute for Music and spreading Rhodes’ music and values worldwide with Rhodes Singers. Working with the Curb Institute, Dircks facilitates collaborations between the Rhodes Activities Board (RAB) and both on-campus bands and groups from the greater Memphis area. This year, he has even bigger events in store as RAB’s lead event coordinator for Rhodes’ annual concert, Rites of Spring.

The Larchmont, NY, native knew from the outset of his college search that he wanted the tight-knit community of a smaller school, but still wanted access to bustling city life. Rhodes’ supportive atmosphere and Memphis’ rich culture immediately drew him in, and he says, “it has not disappointed over the last few years.”

Wanting to get involved early, Dircks began working with RAB his very first semester at Rhodes and the Curb Institute the semester after. The two organizations work closely together to provide both casual gatherings and larger musical experiences to students. Currently serving as RAB’s concert coordinator, Dircks has been instrumental in organizing events like karaoke, open mic nights, and, of course, countless concerts, many of which feature local bands. “It’s always very exciting to see student-led organizations foster a connection between Rhodes students and Memphis,” he says.

This year, Dircks is serving in an additional capacity at RAB as lead event coordinator for Rites of Spring. As one of the most highly anticipated on-campus events, the annual concert draws a large portion of the student body and has featured popular artists like G-Eazy, The Black Keys, and Yung Gravy. Dircks is thrilled to be in charge this year, saying, “So far, working on Rites has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a member of RAB! I’m super excited for y’all to see what we have planned.”

a yuong man sings into a microphone
Harry Dircks '24 performing at a Homecoming concert.

Dircks’ involvement in Rhodes’ musical scene isn’t confined to the Curb Institute and RAB. As a choir member of Rhodes Singers, he traveled to Central Europe for their 2022 tour. The group sang in various cathedrals in Leipzig, Germany and Prague, Czechia, and spent their downtime exploring the histories and cultures of both cities. 

All of Dircks' endeavors carry a collaborative streak that also manifests itself in his academic and career pursuits—a trait notably present in many Rhodes students. He says, “There is a fundamental sense of community at Rhodes that most of the incredible people here take full advantage of.”

Dircks first came to Rhodes planning to pursue a major in business, but was exposed to other disciplines through the liberal arts curriculum’s focus on breadth of understanding. He was drawn to the discussion-based model of his English courses, saying, “There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking to my classmates about what we’re reading.” 

Though Dircks eventually chose to declare a major in English, he kept an interdisciplinary focus that led him to an internship at L’Oréal last summer in New York City. His main focus was on learning how to organize and interpret the data that goes into sales and marketing in the consumer products industry, but he also honed more widely applicable skills like networking and effective time management. “These lessons will be integral in every single aspect of my life, not just professionally,” he says.

After four years of deep involvement in the Rhodes community, Dircks will graduate this May. He plans to pursue a career in sales and advertising, and is currently working with the Career Services department to make that plan a reality. Looking back on his time at Rhodes, he says, “I hope that people will remember me as someone who always created a positive environment for those around me.” 

By Hannah-Elsie Meit ’25

a large choir sings in a cathedral
The Rhodes Singers performing at St. Nicolas Church, Old Town, Prague