Sam Holland

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts to present two premieres at “Meadows at the Winspear” benefit concert, May 11

The 2016 Meadows at the Winspear event, benefitting the Meadows Scholars Program, will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street in Dallas.

AppalachianSpringFinal

The Meadows Dance Ensemble performing Appalachian Spring

The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the Meadows Dance Ensemble, composed of top students from the Meadows School’s nationally respected dance program, in both works.

The first is the premiere of a newly envisioned choreography of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, created by Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, noted artistic directors of the acclaimed Delfos Danza Contemporanea in Mazatlán, Mexico. They have replaced the magical and mercurial glowing bird of Russian folklore with a more contemporary version of Stravinsky’s masterwork, inspired by the visual aesthetics of Hieronymus Bosch and the theme of migration.

The second is Martha Graham’s ballet masterpiece Appalachian Spring, featuring the world premiere of the newly completed, full orchestra version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning music by Aaron Copland. The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will be the first to perform the new material and will also act as “test drivers” for the score, helping to inform any corrections required before the music is published.

Donna-Wilhelm-photo-by-Kim-Leeson

Donna Wilhelm

The event will also honor Donna Wilhelm, a committed supporter of the arts in education and will inaugurate the new scholarship fund in her name. Beginning this fall, the Donna Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide SMU Meadows scholarships to highly qualified students from underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Meadows at the Winspear is the pinnacle of our performance season,” said Meadows Dean Samuel S. Holland. “Not only will talented students in dance and music collaborate in presenting two extraordinary premieres, they will do so in a world-class venue. We’re honored to give the first performance of Copland’s iconic work with full symphony orchestra and to present a moving reinterpretation of Firebird based on a theme of migration and human displacement – reflecting our philosophy that art can become a form of social action. We are also delighted to honor Donna Wilhelm – whose work has had an impact not only on SMU but on all of North Texas.”

Tickets are $17 for students, faculty and staff and can be purchased online.

SMU NCAR meets challenge grant, announces $1 million in gifts for arts research

Donna Wilhelm photo by Kim Leeson

Donna Wilhelm (photo by Kim Leeson)

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) announced that it has successfully met a $500,000 challenge grant from Dallas philanthropist and civic leader Donna Wilhelm, raising a total of $1 million in 2015 for research, programs and services.

The purpose of the challenge grant, given by Wilhelm in February 2015 with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2015, was to generate $500,000 for operating support for the center. Wilhelm’s matching funds will endow a new Wilhelm Research Fellow for NCAR. The center, which was established in 2012 by the University’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled, investigates important issues in arts management and patronage, and makes its findings available to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public.

“The National Center for Arts Research has broken new ground in analyzing and interpreting data about the arts and cultural field in the U.S.,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “NCAR’s thought-provoking research is already helping both new and established arts organizations across the country. The University is grateful to benefactor Donna Wilhelm and the donors who supported the challenge grant for their dedication to the important work of the Center.”

An NCAR advisory board member who has supported the center since its founding, Wilhelm approached NCAR with the offer of the challenge grant. “As a donor, I fund initiatives that serve broad needs and have leveraged impact,” said Wilhelm. “The National Center for Arts Research established at SMU, where scholarly excellence and innovation thrives, met my philanthropic goal.  I also believe in strategic investing.  My challenge grant was structured to sustain operating support for NCAR and establish a Research Fellow endowment.  Thanks to generous and visionary donors, we achieved both.  Donors collaborating were able to empower the unlimited potential of NCAR and foster the health of arts organizations nationwide – I salute this amazing teamwork.”

Individual donors and foundations who contributed to help NCAR meet the challenge grant include Jennifer and Peter Altabef; Belle and Don Berg; Diane and Hal Brierley; Melissa and Trevor Fetter; Ann and Trey Fielder; Carol and Don Glendenning/Locke Lord LLP; Ann and Lee Hobson; T.J. Brown & C.A. Lupton Foundation/Kit Moncrief; Communities Foundation of Texas; M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation; Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation; The Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation/Perkins-Prothro Foundation; and the Tolleson Family Foundation.

“In a few short years, NCAR has placed Meadows at the epicenter of evidence-based insight into the arts ecosystem with the underlying purpose of helping arts leaders make better decisions,” said Meadows Dean Samuel Holland. “This significant gift from Donna Wilhelm and all those who contributed to meeting the challenge will allow us to sharpen our focus, build scale, and extend the reach of NCAR to places where its work is most needed.”

The first Wilhelm Research Fellow is Richard Briesch, professor of marketing in the Cox School. Briesch holds a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern, an M.B.A. from Rice and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from Carnegie Mellon.

“Rick has been working with NCAR since we launched in 2012,” said Zannie Voss, director of NCAR.  “He is one of the most well-respected econometricians in the country and specializes in consumer behavior.”

Voss added, “We are so grateful to Donna Wilhelm and our additional generous donors for endowing the research fellowship and providing critical operating support that will help NCAR continue its dedicated work to help arts and cultural organizations nationwide.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Perkins dean search committee named; open faculty-staff forums scheduled for Sept. 14, 2015

SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim Harold W. Stanley has named the members of the search committee for the next dean of Perkins School of Theology.

Dean William B. Lawrence has announced that he will retire from the position on May 16, 2016 and take a leave of absence during the 2016-17 academic year, possibly returning to SMU as professor of American church history after that time.

Samuel S. Holland, dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, chairs the Perkins Dean Search Committee. The committee members include:

  • Rev. Richie Butler ’93, senior pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Dodee Frost Crockett ’75, ’03, managing director, Crockett, McBride & Associates, member of the Perkins Executive Board
  • Bishop Michael McKee, SMU trustee, Resident Bishop of the North Texas Annual Conference
  • Rev. Paul Rasmussen ’04, senior pastor, Highland Park United Methodist Church
  • Kay Prothro Yeager, community volunteer and civic leader, member of the Perkins Executive Board
  • Chris Anderson, Sacred Music, Perkins School of Theology
  • William Jennings Bryan III, associate dean for student affairs, Perkins School of Theology
  • Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi, World Christianities and Mission Studies, Perkins School of Theology
  • Kate Carté Engel, History, Dedman College
  • Steven Lindquist, Religious Studies, Dedman College
  • Natalia Mirandiuc, Christian Theology, Perkins School of Theology
  • Peter Moore, professor of mathematics, senior associate dean and associate dean for general education, Dedman College
  • Evelyn Parker, Susanna Wesley Chair of Practical Theology, associate dean for academic affairs, Perkins School of Theology
  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplain
  • Abraham Smith, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology
  • Pavielle Chriss, Master’s degree candidate, Perkins School of Theology
  • Geoffrey Moore, doctoral candidate, Religious Students, Dedman College

Dr. Ann Die Hasselmo, senior consultant of Academic Search, Inc., will serve as consultant to the Search Committee. She has worked with SMU on several previous academic searches, including the most recent dean searches for Dedman College and Meadows School of the Arts as well as the current searches for the provost and the vice president for student affairs.

Dean Holland has invited all Perkins faculty and staff members to meet with members of the Search Committee and Dr. Hasselmo. Two open forums have been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in 121 Prothro Hall in the Theology Quad.

Meadows School to explore community engagement and the arts with Ignite Arts Dallas

Clyde Valentin, director of arts and urbanism and Ignite Arts Dallas in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts

Clyde Valentín, director of the arts and urbanism initiative in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will lead Ignite Arts Dallas.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has launched a new initiative to focus on the intersections of arts and community engagement among Meadows School students, the University campus, the city of Dallas and the arts at large.

Under the leadership of Clyde Valentín, director of the Meadows School’s arts and urbanism initiative, Ignite Arts Dallas will integrate artistic practices with community engagement in Dallas and other communities across the country.

“Over the past several years the Meadows School has increasingly focused on the intersection of the arts and social engagement,” said Sam Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School. “Ignite Arts Dallas will bring together under one umbrella our existing programs in these areas, like the annual Meadows Prize, and spark new ideas for programs that will position the Meadows School and Dallas as a national model for art as civic practice.”

The Meadows Prize invites internationally recognized artists and scholars to interact with Meadows students and create a lasting work in Dallas, and students and faculty from throughout the school’s 11 disciplines are involved with projects that support diverse communities in the city. The 2015 winners of the Meadows Prize residency are the Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements and Lear deBessonet, director of The Public Theater’s Public Works program in New York City.

A second major project of Ignite Arts Dallas, titled P3, will present non-traditional, multidisciplinary performance art work exploring the themes of racial and cultural equity, religion, immigration and the environment. An inaugural gift of $225,000 from the Embrey Family Foundation will enable P3 to showcase four works in Dallas between fall 2015 and fall 2017. The works will feature international, national and local artists working in collaboration with SMU students and community members. P3 also plans to commission a work from a local artist to be developed and produced in Dallas in spring 2017.

“The P3 series is designed to ‘seed’ a pipeline where creators of mid-size performance art projects begin to make Dallas a regular location for the development and presentation of work,” said Valentín, who served as executive director of the New York City-based Hip-Hop Theater Festival before coming to SMU in October 2013. “It is also a vital way to reach into the community and collaborate with organizations such as the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas Video Fest and others, while offering our students experiences beyond the classroom and the campus.”

The third major program of Ignite Arts Dallas will be the Dallas Arts Project, which will help bring work created in Dallas to completion and will advocate for exporting it to other communities. Through myriad cultural collaborations and interactions, Valentín and Meadows School faculty members and students will work to enhance Dallas’s existing arts and culture ecosystem and encourage people to think of Dallas’s culture in new ways while connecting that cultural energy to other creative communities around the country.

“Our vision for Ignite Arts Dallas is to engage in deep relationships with the broader Dallas community and to introduce students to the arts’ critical role in social engagement,” said Valentín. “Our tagline is ‘people, place, purpose,’ the main ingredients that create meaningful change, with the arts serving as a connector between various sectors that build community. The arts have the ability to shape the narrative of progress for Dallas and other urban centers across the country. Through our work with exemplary artists, cultural organizers and artistic scholars, we will contribute to a vision of our cities where the arts are integrated into our communities and where the modern urban fabric is built on a foundation of equity and sustainability.”

Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Read the full story at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts website

 

OE2C: Big savings through network printing

Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century has identified a projected savings of as much as $200,000 through cutting support for personal printers and encouraging use of network printers. The idea originated with Meadows Dean Sam Holland, who led a similar cost-cutting initiative in the Division of Music five years ago:

Meadows Dean Sam Holland doesn’t use a personal desktop printer in his office. Instead, he opts for the nearby network printer.

“I’m trying to lead by example,” Holland says of his attempt to reduce the printing volume at SMU.

As part of its OE2C initiative, SMU plans to cut support of desktop printers in offices and encourage faculty and staff to use network printers in their respective areas. Employees will still have an option to use desktop printers, but the university no longer will support their upkeep, including toner and paper.

The cost-cutting measure will save SMU a projected $150,000-$200,000 in its first year, and possibly more later, says Dawn Norris, executive director of Student Life and project manager of the Procurement Initiative for OE2C. Holland, who spearheaded a similar cost-cutting measure five years ago as the director of the Division of Music, found that sharing network printers significantly decreased printing expenses. It came down to making better use of a limited budget, he says.

“It became clear that we were spending an awful lot of money on supplies by providing printers, by providing toner, by providing paper,” Holland explains. “But we had other areas that needed that money, such as faculty travel and supporting visiting artists.”

Following Holland’s decision, the division’s printing budget dropped from about $17,000 to $4,000 in a year. “We didn’t expect it to cut it that much. It wound up exceeding our expectations.”

Initially, there was concern from faculty and staff when he pulled the plug on desktop-printer support. “That was the first response,” Holland says, but eventually “reality hit” that the division was putting its savings to better use in other areas. Everyone had access to network printers near their office, but they could purchase their own printers as long as they paid for upkeep and supplies, Holland says.

As another part of his plan to cut back printing costs, Holland encouraged faculty and staff to send digital documents via email instead of making hard-copy handouts. Soon the Music Division faculty and staff started “using digital documents more than ever,” which really helped on costs, Holland says.

Norris believes SMU’s OE2C printing initiatives could have similar positive effects for the University. Right now SMU employees use an estimated 2,400 desktop printers. The OE2C initiative will decrease that to less than 1,000 network printers, Norris estimates.

“This initiative is one of the few in which we have someone in-house (Holland) who has run a pilot of it – and one shown to be a success,” says Norris, who voluntarily returned her desktop printer and now uses the network.

> Read the full story at the OE2C blog

SMU receives $45 million gift from The Meadows Foundation, the largest single gift in University history

Meadows Museum, SMUIn the largest single gift in SMU history, The Meadows Foundation, Inc. has pledged $45 million to SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Meadows Museum. With this commitment, The Meadows Foundation has provided more than $100 million to the University since 1995.

The $45 million gift, the largest in The Meadows Foundation’s history, includes $25 million to support goals and programs at the Meadows Museum, which houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The gift designates $13 million for exhibitions, education programs and initiatives; $6 million for acquisitions; and $6 million for an acquisition challenge grant.

In addition, the gift will help the Museum expand relationships with international cultural institutions and enhance its reputation as the center for Spanish art in the United States.

“SMU has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with The Meadows Foundation, one initiated by Algur H. Meadows himself through the endowment of the Meadows School and the creation of the Meadows Museum,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The resulting collaboration has enhanced the lives of thousands of students, faculty and members of the local, regional and international communities. This year, as we celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the Meadows Museum and the centennial of SMU’s opening, we are honored to accept a gift that will continue this extraordinary partnership.”

The Meadows Foundation gift also designates $20 million to the Meadows School of the Arts to support its goal to lead the nation in arts education. The funding will be used to attract and retain top faculty and students, create and maintain innovative programs of national importance and provide enhanced studio, gallery and state-of-the-art classroom spaces. The gift designates $12 million for facility enhancements, including a $10 million challenge grant, and $8 million for student and faculty recruitment and retention, as well as new strategic initiatives.

“Algur H. Meadows’ vision of an innovative school of the arts and a museum of international distinction has been realized in the Meadows School of the Arts and Meadows Museum,” said Linda P. Evans, chairman and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. “This historic gift recognizes their remarkable transformations over the past two decades, as well as the talented leadership in place at SMU. It also serves as a strategic investment in the dynamic futures of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum, serving diverse audiences around the globe.”

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. Meadows and his wife, Virginia, to benefit the people of Texas. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $775 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 7,000 Texas institutions and agencies. The Meadows Foundation’s primary areas of giving are arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services, in addition to initiatives focused on the environment, mental health and public education.

Meadows School of the ArtsThe Meadows School of the Arts was named in 1969 in honor of Algur H. Meadows, its primary benefactor.

“This generous gift will help the Meadows School to maintain and continue its historic journey as a national model for arts education,” said Sam Holland, the Algur H. Meadows dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are honored to reflect Algur Meadows’ legacy with a School that continues to create and maintain important programs and initiatives in the arts.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

Artist collective Complex Movements, Public Theater’s Lear deBessonet win 2015 Meadows Prize

Artist collective Complex Movements, photo by Vanessa Miller

The artist collective Complex Movements is a recipient of SMU’s 6th annual Meadows Prize arts residency. Photo credit: Vanessa Miller

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has announced the recipients of its 6th annual Meadows Prize arts residency: the Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements and Lear deBessonet, director of The Public Theater’s Public Works program in New York City.

The Meadows Prize is awarded to pioneering artists and creative professionals who are active in one or more disciplines represented by the academic units within the Meadows School.

Complex Movements is a Detroit-based artist collective developing interactive performance work that draws connections between complex science and social justice movements to support the transformation of communities. The group is comprised of graphic designer/fine artist Wesley Taylor; music producer/filmmaker Waajeed; lyricist/organizer Invincible; and multimedia artist/performance systems architect Carlos Garcia. Their work draws on multiple disciplines, including community organizing, design, music, architecture, storytelling, multimedia art and theater.

For their Meadows Prize project, Complex Movements will collaborate with the Dallas community and the Meadows School on a week-long residency in February, and return in October for a four-week engagement of Beware of the Dandelions in Dallas’s Fair Park.

Beware of the Dandelions is a performance-based installation that also functions as a workshop space and a visual arts exhibition. Participant activity occurs inside a 400-square-foot polyhedron pod structure designed in collaboration with Detroit-based architect Aaron Jones to create an immersive visual and sound experience. Through community collaboration and the interdisciplinary nature of the installation, Complex Movements seeks to raise the visibility of local issues and social justice-based art and activism.

> More about Beware of the Dandelions from Emergence Media

Lear deBessonet, photo credit Matthew Murphy

Lear deBessonet will visit SMU in spring 2015 as part of her Meadows Prize arts residency. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Lear deBessonet is director of Public Works – a major initiative of The Public Theater that engages the people of New York as theater creators as well as spectators. Working with community partner organizations in all areas of the city, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in theater workshops, attend classes and productions, and become involved in the daily life of The Public.

Under deBessonet’s leadership, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is by and of the people. For her Meadows Prize project, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native will spearhead a new co-production between the Meadows School and the Dallas Theater Center of The Tempest, to be developed for spring 2017.

Lear’s first visit to Dallas will be in spring 2015. This co-production marks a new form and scale for a Meadows Prize project and will engage hundreds of volunteers, community partners from across Dallas, and the institutional collaboration and alignment between SMU, The Public Theater and the Dallas Theater Center.

> The New York Times: Lear deBessonet Puts Her Stamp on The Winter’s Tale

“We’re very excited to welcome Complex Movements and Lear deBessonet to the Meadows School as our sixth-year recipients of the Meadows Prize,” said Meadows Dean Sam Holland. “Both help us advance important elements of the vision for the Meadows School – to allow our students to interact with artists at the top of their fields and to integrate the Meadows School more deeply into our community.”

Inaugurated in October 2009, the Meadows Prize is presented annually to up to two pioneering artists. It includes support for a residency in Dallas, in addition to a $25,000 stipend. In return, recipients are expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and collaborating arts organizations, and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas, such as a work of art that remains in the community, a composition or piece of dramatic writing that would be performed locally, or a new way of teaching in a particular discipline.

> Read the full story from the Meadows School of the Arts website

Sam Holland named Meadows dean on Nov. 12, 2014

Sam Holland, dean, Meadows School of the Arts at SMUSam Holland, professor and director in the Meadows School of the ArtsDivision of Music, was named the School’s new dean on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.

He has served as interim dean since July 1, 2014, following the departure of former dean José Antonio Bowen.

An internationally renowned music educator and arts administrator, Holland will also hold the school’s Algur H. Meadows Chair.

Holland has been director of the Meadows School’s Division of Music since 2010. Under his leadership, the Music Division was named the #1 music program in the United States in the 2014 College Factual rankings, as reported in USA Today. He has also provided leadership in fundraising: He worked with the Meadows development team to obtain more than $10 million in new giving for piano inventory and programs; renovation of practice facilities; and support for endowed scholarships, new endowed professorships and the ensemble-in-residence program.

“We are delighted to have a distinguished leader who is already a highly respected member of the SMU family and the Dallas arts community to assume this important position,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Sam Holland brings experience and success not only in teaching and performing, but also in fundraising, external outreach and impact on his profession.”

Holland joined the Meadows music faculty in 1991, initially serving as head of piano pedagogy and director of the Piano Preparatory Department. He has served as head of the Department of Keyboard Studies and Pedagogy, associate chair and chair ad interim of the Division of Music and Meadows associate director for academic affairs. His teaching at SMU has included piano pedagogy, studio piano, computers and keyboards, jazz piano and piano master classes.

“Sam Holland brings a great understanding of the Meadows School and its culture and great personal charm and accomplishment to the position of dean,” said Paul Ludden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is rare for a candidate to receive such enthusiastic support from every sector of the University and the community. SMU is fortunate to have Sam leading the Meadows School as the University advances in national prominence.”

Holland has extended the Meadows School’s reach beyond the campus. He developed closer associations with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and organized SMU student performances for civic events, such as the grand opening of the Winspear Opera House and groundbreaking for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. He developed and shepherded partnerships with community groups including Dallas Chamber Music, Voices of Change, Dallas Bach Society and the Allegro Guitar Society.

“I am deeply honored and tremendously excited by the opportunity to lead the Meadows School at this time in its history,” Holland said. “After years of growth in the quality and reputation of its programs, Meadows is emerging as a national model for arts education in the 21st century. Considering the people at SMU and Meadows, an extraordinary executive board and the dynamism of Dallas, I can’t help but be irrepressibly optimistic about the future. Great cultural centers have great schools nearby. Lincoln Center has Juilliard. Chicago has Northwestern. The Dallas Arts District has Meadows. In my view, the powerhouse schools of the next 25 years will be those in which fine and performing arts are working alongside cutting-edge communication arts – precisely the ingredients we celebrate at Meadows. At Meadows, we will create, communicate, curate, innovate and engage with this great city we call home. I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Aside from his responsibilities in the Meadows School, Holland is co-founder and executive director of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, Inc., a nonprofit educational institution in New Jersey. He is executive director of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and Clavier Companion magazine. He chairs the Committee on Ethics of the Texas Association of Music Schools.

Holland earned his Bachelor of Music in applied music cum laude from The University of Texas at Austin, followed by a Master of Music in applied music with highest honors at the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma.

He is the author or co-author of more than 70 critically acclaimed method and repertoire collections with major publishers. In addition, he is internationally active as a performer and lecturer at music conferences and festivals and has served as founder and executive of national professional conferences and journals.

At the international level, Holland has provided leadership for music workshops and lecture/demonstrations in countries including England, Spain, Australia, Hungary, Norway and Canada. He has represented the Meadows Division of Music on visits to the U.K., Japan, Australia, Shanghai, Spain and the Peoples’ Republic of China.

Holland has been honored with the Texas Music Teacher Association Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Award and the Dean’s Prize of Meadows School of the Arts.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Stefan Engels named Leah Young Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Music Performance

Concert organist Stefan Engels, SMU

Internationally renowned organist and educator Stefan Engels is the new Leah Young Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Music Performance in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Following an international search, world-renowned organist and educator Stefan Engels has joined the Division of Music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts as the new Leah Young Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Music Performance. The new endowed senior position was made possible by a $2 million gift from Sarah and Ross Perot Jr., in honor of Sarah’s mother, Mrs. Leah Fullinwider.

The position is the first Endowed Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts and the second for SMU.

The winner of the “Concerto Gold Medal” at the 1998 Calgary International Organ Competition, Engels has served as professor of organ at one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious musical institutions, the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany, since 2005. He is also the founder and artistic director of the European Organ Academy Leipzig and has recorded two highly acclaimed CDs on the Naxos and Priory labels.

Engels maintains a vigorous international concert schedule and is a sought-after teacher, having presented lectures and master classes across Europe, North America and South Korea. His specialization in the organ works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert has resulted in the world premiere recording of the complete organ works of Karg-Elert, also on the Priory label. Of this 14-CD project, eight CDs are now available for purchase and have been reviewed to the highest international acclaim.

“Without a doubt, Stefan Engels is one of the world’s top organists and organ pedagogues,” said Sam Holland, director of music and Meadows interim dean. “For many years, he has brought an outstanding class of young organists to his teaching position at Leipzig. He is equally brilliant as a concert organist and as a high liturgical organist, and each will be important since he will be teaching in both the Meadows School of the Arts and the Perkins School of Theology at SMU. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring an organist of his talent and pedigree to Dallas. Great things lie ahead.”

The search for the new chair was led by Pamela Elrod, director of choral activities at Meadows. The search committee included SMU faculty members Andrés Díaz, international concert cellist; Xi Wang, award-winning composer; and Christopher Anderson, associate professor of sacred music, as well as noted Dallas Morning News classical music critic Scott Cantrell.

Engels received his broad musical education in Germany and the United States. He studied organ, piano, harpsichord, choral conducting and church music at the universities in Aachen, Düsseldorf and Cologne. From 1993 until 1998 he pursued organ studies with Wolfgang Rübsam in Chicago and the late Robert Anderson in Dallas, receiving an Artist Certificate degree from the Meadows School in 1995.

He will present his first concert at SMU, “à la française!,” on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 with a program of classic French works spanning the centuries. Included will be Nicolas de Grigny’s Selections from Livre d’Orgue (1699), Michel Corrette’s 18th-century Organ Concertos No. 2 and No. 5, and Louis Vierne’s Symphonie IV, Op. 32 (1914). The concert is offered in partnership with the Dallas Bach Society and will also feature a Baroque orchestra. For more information, visit meadows.smu.edu.

> Read the full story from the Meadows School of the Arts news homepage

Division of Music Director Sam Holland named interim dean of Meadows School of the Arts

Sam Holland, interim dean, Meadows School of the Arts at SMUSam Holland, professor and director in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Music, has been named the School’s interim dean effective Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Meadows Dean José Antonio Bowen was named president of Goucher College in early March.

Holland has been an SMU faculty member since 1991 and has served as director of the Division of Music – the largest division in Meadows – since 2010.

“He is not only an accomplished University administrator, but a visionary leader who has done an outstanding job in moving the Division of Music forward over the past three years,” Bowen wrote in a note to the SMU community published at the Meadows School website Monday, March 24, 2014. “He has built strong community relationships with local organizations like the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Opera, and has established a national reputation in keyboard pedagogy, community outreach and in the ways that music schools are rethinking preparation for jobs and citizenship…. His reputation as an innovator and creative thinker is well deserved.

“The leadership of the University and I are confident he will be an excellent steward of Meadows programs and goals and will continue the momentum of the school while the search process for a new dean is under way.”

> Read Dean Bowen’s complete message at smu.edu/meadows

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