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School of Music signals new directions with current faculty searches 

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on February 14, 2024 - 5:03pm
View of the Quad from the Music Library (Photo: Joanne DePue).
View of the Quad from the Music Library (Photo: Joanne DePue).

Current faculty searches under way at the School of Music convey both a recommitment to the basics that have marked the School’s instruction over the past 15 decades, but also a commitment to new directions in its curriculum and its priorities.

Tenure-track, assistant professor positions opening on the faculty in the areas of Music Education, Composition/Improvisation/Theory, and Music Technology will enable the School to broaden its perspectives and the training it offers to prepare today’s musicians for the workplace. The same language appears in all three recent postings:

“The School of Music is currently engaged in a fundamental reassessment of our shared values and goals; the successful candidate will be expected to join us in our ongoing work toward a vision of the School of Music that is inclusive and diverse, while continuing to build on its traditions.”

Interviews for the positions are taking place during Winter Quarter 2024 with the successful candidates expected to join the faculty starting in Fall 2024.

For the Music Education position, the School of Music invited applicants for a position in Instrumental Music Education with an emphasis on African American music, to include research and teaching in the areas of African American Music Education, African American ensembles, and/or African American music research. The program intends to maintain its focus on community-engaged music-making and on musical outreach to the K-12 community as well as its close ties to the UW’s Ethnomusicology program.

The new assistant professor in Composition/Theory/Improvisation is expected to teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in the theory curriculum, but also to incorporate their own specific interests and specialties into instruction and mentorship of students.

A new assistant professor in Music and Technology will initially be part of the Jazz Studies Program and will be tasked with helping to develop and subsequently lead a new degree program in Music and Technology. Their responsibilities will include teaching courses related to such topics as field recording, history of recording, studio recording, live recording, archival recording, editing, mixing, mastering; and actively cultivating relationships with Northwest area professional studios, engineers, producers and artists.

 Associate Director Ted Poor, one of the architects of the new courses being developed in Music and Technology, spoke earlier this year of a “real sense of possibility” at the School.

“This is my tenth year here, and I've never felt more engaged and excited about the very real potential to come together and further define this school as a unique and excellent place,” he said in an interview last spring with Nancy Joseph of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Over the last year or so, there's been a framework set up by (Acting director) Joël (Durand) to have faculty go back to some basic ideas about what it is we find important in music and take those ideas through our curriculum. I'm genuinely excited to invest time and effort and thought into this. There's a real sense of possibility right now.”

Coupled with the new faculty positions, plans for physical upgrades to the Music Building (see story here) signal the UW’s commitment to renewing and broadening opportunities and resources for all students in the Arts at the University of Washington.