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May 21, 2007

President Joel Seligman's Comments

I am delighted to announce the selection of Douglas Lowry to be the Eastman School of Music's dean. For the past seven years, Doug has been the extraordinarily successful Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati following seven years as Associate Dean at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. As a composer, conductor, and administrator, he follows in the storied tradition of Howard Hanson. Dean Lowry will assume his duties on August 1, 2007.

The selection of Dean Lowry marks the culmination of a lengthy, comprehensive and representative search. Begun a year ago, I benefited from the hard work and thoughtful advice of an extraordinary main search committee that included:

  • Bonita Boyd, Professor of Flute
  • Paul Burgett, Vice President and General Secretary, and Chair of the committee
  • Charles Castleman, Professor of Violin
  • John Covach, Professor of Music in the College
  • Harold Danko, Professor of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media
  • Benton Hess, Distinguished Professor of Voice
  • David Higgs, Professor of Organ
  • Richard Grunow, Professor of Music Education
  • Elizabeth West Marvin, Professor of Theory
  • Robert Morris, Professor of Composition
  • Joanna Olmsted, Dean of Arts and Sciences in the College
  • Jean Pedersen, Associate Professor of History
  • Mark Scatterday, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles
  • Nelita True, Professor of Piano
  • Timothy Ying, Associate Professor of String Chamber Music
  • Gretchen Wheelock, Professor of Musicology

This committee took the lead in preparing the position description that detailed the challenges and opportunities of the Dean's position and laid out the qualities and characteristics sought in the new dean. The committee reviewed over 80 names of individuals with impressive backgrounds and ultimately selected six outstanding semi-finalists to be interviewed. The selection of the finalists was based not only on these interviews but also on the basis of outside references and lengthy discussion among those on the main search committee.

The finalists also met with five other advisory groups that i want to particularly thank.

From the Eastman Board of Managers:

  • George W. Hamlin IV (committee chair)
  • Harry P. Messina Jr.
  • Ronald Salluzo
  • Betty Strasenburgh

From the Eastman senior administrative staff:

  • Donna Brink Fox, Interim Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Ray Ricker, Director, Institute for Music Leadership
  • Suzanne Stover, Executive Director for Development
  • Dan Zagar, Librarian, Sibley Music Library
  • Adrian Daly, Director of Admissions
  • Marie Rolf, Dean for Graduate Studies
  • John Podvin, Registrar
  • Howard Potter, Director Eastman Community Music School

From Eastman junior faculty and the Eastman Community Music School:

  • Roger Freitas, Associate Professor of Musicology
  • Howard Spindler, Eastman Community Music School Faculty
  • Jeannie Guerrero, Assistant Professor of Music Theory
  • William Marvin, Assistant Professor of Music Theory
  • Caterina Falli, Assistant Professor of Humanities
  • Dariuz Terefenko, Assistant Professor Jazz & Contemporary Media
  • Peter Kodzas, Eastman Community Music School Faculty
  • Terry Fonda-Smith, Eastman Community Music School Faculty
  • Sophia Gibbs Kim, Eastman Community Music School Faculty

From the Eastman undergraduate and graduate student body

  • Annie Kirk-Laver, DMA Organ
  • Kurt Ferguson, BM Euphonium/Tromone & Music Ed
  • Matthew Fritz, MM Conducting
  • Emlyn Johnson, BM Flute
  • Hillary Schefter, BM Harp
  • W. Andrew Stephenson, BM Horn &Music Ed
  • Ian Wisekal, BM Oboe
  • Clarence Hines, DMA Jazz
  • Jenine Lawson, Ph.D Theory
  • Johannes Muller-Stosch, DMA Conducting

Finalist candidates also met with Provost Chuck Phelps and my senior leadership team which includes deans, vice presidents, and presidential deputies, all of whom provided valuable insights.

We were aided immensely during the search by Judith Auerbach and Kit Nichols of Auerbach Associates search firm.

My special thanks go to Melinda Smith, executive assistant to the Provost, who provided extraordinary staff support throughout the search.

After interviews with the finalists, I met with all the advisory committees and the main search committee. I was deeply impressed by the quality of the analysis in each meeting and the sense that each of the finalists was reviewed from several important, and sometimes quite different, perspectives.

I, myself, spent several hours with each finalist and after a long and thorough process, concluded that Doug Lowry, whose distinguished career, over many years in several distinguished institutions of music, is the right person to be dean of the Eastman School of Music, one of this country's, and the world's, most outstanding music schools.

Dean Lowry is a composer and conductor, whose instrument is trombone. He earned his undergraduate degree in theory and composition at the University of Arizona and two graduate degrees in orchestral conducting and trombone at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music.

Following his studies at USC, his career there blossomed in a series of progressively more advanced faculty positions in conducting and in winds and percussion; and in administrative positions including Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Chair of Conducting Studies, Associate Dean of the School and acting dean.

Doug has been continuously active as a composer and conductor. He has fulfilled numerous orchestral commissions and had his works performed by the Louisville Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, and Tucson Symphony. He's composed music for the theater including the St. Louis Repertory Theater and Cincinnati Playhouse; and his works have been programmed at the New Mexico summer Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, as well as the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati.

The College-Conservatory of Music, which in addition to music, offers studies in dance, drama, and musical theater, is distinguished in its own right, identifying itself as the single largest source of performing arts events in Ohio.

Doug has been Dean and Chief Executive since 2000, with responsibilities for all aspects of the school's operations. Those duties, together with his many external leadership activities, including as a member of the boards of the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame have made him a major figure in the Cincinnati arts community.

Doug Lowry comes to Eastman with a keen appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing music in America and he clearly sees the Eastman School as America's premier institution to shape the discourse and provide the leadership for the future. In his words, "the Eastman name has been synonymous with leadership in professional music education at the highest level. Though it has few significant competitors, its position on matters of curriculum, maintenance of artistic and scholarly standards, and futuristic thinking has set it apart."

Looking to the future, Doug has commented that, "no school in America is better positioned than Eastman to make the national case statement (on behalf of that future)."

Doug is joined by his wife Marcia, who is with us this morning. Marcia, whose passion is photography, worked in the photography collection at the Getty Museum during the Lowry's years in Los Angeles. The George Eastman House has whetted her appetite considerably for Rochester and she hopes to become involved in its activities after settling here.

Doug and Marcia have three adult children, Jennifer (26) who lives in Los Angeles, and Melanie (23) and Tim (20) who reside in Cincinnati.

Doug Lowry's career has evolved from early musical efforts as a member of a rock 'n roll band in high school to one of this country's most distinguished music school deans. It gives me great pleasure to introduce him to you today and to welcome Doug and Marcia to the Eastman School, the University of Rochester, and to the Rochester community.