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Archive for Tuesday, March 16, 2010

KU names dean for new School of Music

March 16, 2010, 10:19 a.m. Updated March 16, 2010, 5:10 p.m.

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Kansas University has selected Robert Walzel, of the University of Utah, as its first full-time dean of the new School of Music.

Walzel has been director of Utah’s School of Music since 2001. Previously, he had served in a similar position at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

He was a faculty member for 11 years at Texas Tech University and the principal clarinetist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

In an interview Tuesday morning, he said he was excited about the new opportunity to “be on the ground floor” during the formative years of a new school. He said one of his first initiatives likely would be to create a strategic plan to determine where the faculty want to take the school.

“At the end of the day, I think music schools define themselves on the excellence of the music they create and their academic programs,” Walzel said.

He said he hoped to highlight the role the school could play in the community, potentially taking a pianist to a senior living community or taking a string quartet to other community functions.

Walzel said he recalled visiting KU while attending the Midwest Music and Art Camp in the early 1970s as both a junior high and high school student.

“I have a lot of great memories of KU,” he said.

“KU is honored to have an internationally known musician of Robert Walzel’s caliber,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement. “He is a talented leader for our school and its exceptional faculty.”

Walzel was chosen over two other finalists, Wade Weast, director of the School of Music at the University of South Florida, and Murry Sidlin, dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

He will begin in the new position on June 1, and will succeed Alicia Clair, who has served as interim dean since the school’s inception last July, after KU dissolved and reorganized its School of Fine Arts.

“I am thrilled,” Walzel said. “It really is a great opportunity.”

Comments

Shardwurm 4 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps the most irrelevant position in the entire university. golf claps

Let me guess...$250,000 a year and the opportunity to 'research'?

thebigspoon 4 years, 9 months ago

And your occupation is so VERY much more important in the great scheme of things, Shardwurm? Please enlighten us all as to the ultimate importance of your job, OK? This happens to be a tremendously useful thing to do with the minds of young (and not so young) students, as well as the enrichening of the community. Hope you do something much more important.

thebigspoon 4 years, 9 months ago

And your occupation is so VERY much more important in the great scheme of things, Shardwurm? Please enlighten us all as to the ultimate importance of your job, OK? This happens to be a tremendously useful thing to do with the minds of young (and not so young) students, as well as the enrichening of the community. Hope you do something much more important.

rtwngr 4 years, 9 months ago

University of Utah, Sam Houston State, Texas Tech. Well, who could argue with credentials like those. What was the name of that famous piece that came out of Texas? Oh yeah, "El Paso" by Marty Robbins.

rtwngr 4 years, 9 months ago

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. Principal clarinetist? How many could there be? Two? At least he knows the difference between a woodwind and a woodchuck, we think.

rtwngr 4 years, 9 months ago

This is fun. There is a whole day's worth of material here.

Raider 4 years, 9 months ago

Believe it or not rtwngr, Tech has one of the better schools of music in the Big 12. BTW, what does Lawrence have as far as a symphony orchestra? (not talking about the University one) Thought so.

nobody1793 4 years, 9 months ago

I still think we should have got Bootsy Collins.

thebigspoon 4 years, 9 months ago

Same goes to you, winger--amswer the same question that Shardwurm has so deftly parried: What do you (both) do to improve life for the community? Your sarcasm and "wit" will henceforth be taken for what it is, which is empty bellyachying by those who have little to no effect on society except as users, unless you can disabuse me of the notion that you are jealous little complainers.

guesswho 4 years, 9 months ago

Barry...I think you could have used some more schooling to learn the proper use of apostrophes. Were you trying to make a possessive (belonging to rule) or a contraction (rule is...)?

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

There's a new Dean of the School of Music? I'll make a note of it.

somedude20 4 years, 9 months ago

could have been worse...........john tesh anyone

infidel 4 years, 9 months ago

I didn't even know there was a school of music. What a waste of my tax $$

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm still puzzling that there's a symphony in Lubbock!


well good luck to Walzel, I think there's a lot of potential for the future of the KU School of Musik.

and those who think its a waste: there are working musicians, right here ... in rivercity.

ylime3499 4 years, 9 months ago

I attended Loyola University New Orleans School of Music after high school (growing up in central KS). One thing led to another and I transferred to KU, but was very displeased with there music programs. I have yet to decide on another program, but am very excited to see if KU's will improve. Music is very important to the lives of many; Music Therapy, Music Education, Performance, etc.

And with all of the complaining and whining about money being spent on a program that is, obviously, misunderstood how about KSU's program for golf green maintenance or any of the equally annoying programs (do NOT get me wrong ag. is the backbone of America).

This will be a great thing for the community of Lawrence, KU, and all parties involved. I have long since wondered why KU did not have a School of Music. But alas, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

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