UTPB’s original music program dates from the founding of the University when music was a part of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. Early faculty included instrumental music faculty and chair of music David Sloan, now retired from education and owner of the Westbank String Shop, choir faculty Larry Marsh, now teaching at Linfield College, choir director Stanley Engebretson, now a member of the faculty at George Mason University, followed by Steve Powell who later authored Music Engraving Today, and instrumentalist Craig Lister who is a renowned harpsichord builder. The music department was dissolved with the first oil “bust” of the 1980s.
In the fall of 2004 the program was re-started with the hiring of Dr. Dan Keast and the establishment of the “Bachelor of Arts in Humanities—E. C.-12 Music Certification Track” degree. Lessons and rehearsals were held in a student housing building that was also home to a lounge, kitchen, and student laundry facilities. Dr. Cory Alexander was hired as the second tenure-track music faculty member and Director of Choral Activities for the Fall 2009 semester.
In the fall of 2011 the program moved to its new home in the Rea Music and Academic Center, part of the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. Today, the department employs over thirty adjunct faculty and five full-time faculty. UTPB has twelve performing ensembles, 75 music majors pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree, and over 900 students enrolled in music courses each semester. Dr. Dan Keast, music program coordinator, has based the philosophy of the department on community service. This idea allows the students to show the community their gratitude for its support of the University and its many programs.
For more information about the Music Dept., please contact Dr. Dan Keast at email@example.com or call 432-552-3286. Travis Woodward is the Director of Communication for UTPB and she can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 432-552-2547.