Music history needs two new professors

The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Colorado State University is accepting nominations to fill two positions as assistant professor of music history.

“[Students] want a teacher that is interesting and relevant,” said Todd Queen, chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. “They want teachers to challenge them and offer dialogue back and forth.”

The requirements of this job include a Ph.D. in musicology, teaching experience at the college level, a record of research, the ability to work collaboratively and a commitment to continue professional development.

“I look for a professor who can apply musical concepts to all genres of music,” said Bethany Homan, a sophomore music major.

Any potential professor will need to be able to teach a course in western music and are expected to advise students –– especially graduate students –– and have an expertise in something different, in another area of music outside of what they will be teaching.

“I’m enrolled in music history right now,” said Ashlyn Dunn, a vocal music education major. “It’s one of my favorite subjects.”

These new assistant professors will be responsible for teaching every music major, which comes out to more than 350 students.

The department plans on going to the AMS Conference in New Orleans to search for teachers, and has 12 hours of interviews scheduled to meet people. Queen said there is a lot of interest in these positions “to say the least.”

“We pull from all over the world,” Queen said. “We’re looking for dynamic classroom teachers, we’re looking for people beginning to publish and we’re looking for people with the potential for a national research profile.”

The University Center of the Arts has experienced a lot of retirements in the last 10 years, which makes the staff at CSU a very young group of teachers. Queen said this enhances the UCA’s programs.

“It’s a small community of people within the huge community of CSU. There is always a familiar face as you walk down the hallway,” Homan said.

As they await the arrival of two new assistant professors, an adjunct professor, who is actually a CSU alumnus, as well as Joel Bacon are helping to teach all music majors in music history at the time being.

Adjuncts are responsible for teaching to all 350 music majors. They teach three three-credit classes per semester. Queen said there’s no guarantee that adjuncts become assistant professors. After six years as an assistant professor, the teacher can go up for tenure.

“I think it’s the poor job market. There’s been a hiring freeze across all institutions,” Queen said.

Despite the negative numbers, the program has grown in number of students as well as number of faculty. In 10 years, the program has doubled the number of undergraduates and quadrupled the number of graduate students, gaining eight tenure track professors. The program has added a music composition degree and this year, they are adding a jazz studies major.

“The professors in the music department are balanced in making sure we understand the information and teaching us in a variety of ways,” Dunn said. “They have a passion for preparing students.”

The UCA offers a wide variety of visual and performing arts programs. It sees about 1,100 students and 100 faculty members each day.

“We want to get more people involved so they can relate their knowledge to actual music experience,” Queen said.

The UCA not only offers educational courses in the music department, but it also serves as a venue for performance, creative production and design, therapy and research.

“We’re committed to hiring two new great teachers and we’re excited,” Queen said.

Collegian Writer Candice Miller can be reached at news@collegian.com.