Published: Sept. 15, 2020

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced four finalists for the position of dean of the College of Music.

The finalists for the position are John Davis, senior associate dean of the College of Music at CU Boulder; Valerie Martin, vice provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Susquehanna University; Jeffrey Pappas, director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee; and Gabriel Solis, head of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

“The committee is pleased to present to the campus four strong candidates, any one of whom we feel would make an excellent dean for our College of Music,” said Katherine Eggert, search committee chair, professor of English and senior vice provost for academic planning and assessment.

Eggert paid tribute to the work of the search committee, which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to a new operational mode this past spring.

“I want to thank the committee for its work in delivering a fine group of finalists under difficult circumstances,” said Moore. “I’m looking forward to the visits of these scholars and artists to the CU Boulder campus.”

Finalist interviews will take place virtually in late September and early October, including a virtual public session for each candidate. Final dates and times for these sessions are forthcoming. The goal is to name a new dean by the close of the fall 2020 semester. 

Davis, a professor of music at CU Boulder, has been the senior associate dean of the College of Music since 2012. He also served as the acting dean from July to December 2019. He directed the College of Music’s jazz program from 1995 to 2011. Prior to his appointment at CU Boulder, he served as an assistant professor and assistant director of jazz studies at the University of Northern Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education and performance from Metropolitan State University of Denver, a master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Denver and a doctor of musical arts degree in trumpet performance and pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.

Martin, an associate professor of music at Susquehanna University, has been the vice provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences since 2019. Her previous leadership positions at Susquehanna University include associate provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (2012–19); dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Communications (2004–12); head of the Department of Music (2001–04); and director of bands (1994–2004). Before her appointment at Susquehanna, she served as an assistant professor and the director of bands and orchestra at Centenary College of Louisiana. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education at Murray State University and master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees in wind conducting at the University of Alabama.

Pappas has been the director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee since 2012. Previously, he served as a professor and the department chair of music at Marshall University (2007–12); an associate professor of music and the director of choral activities and coordinator of ensembles and conducting at Ball State University (2004–07); an associate professor and the director of choral activities at Mississippi State University (2000–04); and Pappas held various positions at Clarke College, including assistant/associate professor and director of choral activities (1989–2000). He earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at Northern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting and pedagogy at the University of Iowa.

Solis, a professor of music at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, has been head of the Department of Theatre since 2019 and previously served as the chair of the musicology division of the School of Music (2010–18). He holds affiliate appointments in the Department of African American Studies, the Program in American Indian Studies and the Department of Anthropology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a doctoral degree in ethnomusicology and historical musicology from Washington University, St. Louis.

This story appeared originally in CU Boulder Today.