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Students in the orchestra during a concert

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, funding was generously provided by the Rea Charitable Trust to re-start the Music Program 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 later held in a student housing building that was also home to a lounge, kitchen, and student laundry facilities. As the program continued to grow, 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 over twelve performing ensembles, 75 music majors pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree, and over 1800 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 keast_d@utpb.edu or call 432-552-3286; Alexa Dunson, Communications Manager at 432-552-2541 or dunson_a@utpb.edu; or Tatum Hubbard at Executive Director of Communication for UTPB at 432-552-3102 or hubbard_t@utpb.edu.

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