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Jacobs School of Music hires record number of new faculty



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Sarah Wroth, a Jacobs School of Music alumna, joins the faculty as visiting associate professor of music in ballet. Wroth  took over this year as an associate chair of the ballet department. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

IU’s Jacobs School of Music is taking on a record 22 new full-time faculty members this academic year, according to a press release sent out Tuesday.

“The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music continues to position itself for the future, while shaping the now,” according to the release. 

With these new hirings, more than 10 percent of the music school's 180-person faculty is new.

These hires come after the loss of three professors in four months in 2016

The institution is looking to expand its roster of faculty to assure its excellence for the foreseeable future, Jeremy Allen, the Jacobs Eugene O’Brien Bicentennial Executive Associate Dean, said in the press release.

“We are positioning the school to continue to be a leading institution for the next 20 years by looking ahead and adding the necessary elements now,” Allen said. 

Allen added that the most significant focus in finding new faculty members was consistency, not change. 

“One of the most important parts of hiring this new class of faculty members is what’s not going to change,” Allen said. “We’ve managed to maintain a faculty of the very highest quality.”

Many of the school’s new hires were made to find successors for long-term music school faculty who are no longer with the program, according to the release. Others were brought in to offer talent in new fields of study.

“We also were eager to attract faculty who can bring expertise in new areas to us,” Allen said in the release. 

Allen also said they heavily considered the current state of the music world when making their decisions.

“We were trying to take into consideration what the current state of the music profession is, and what our students will need to have in their degree and going forward into their professional careers,” Allen said. “Graduating with a degree in music is very different in 2018 from doing it in 1998, or in 1968.”

He noted the stature of Jacobs' programs was not changing.

“The faculty at the Jacobs School has always been very strong,” Allen said. “At the very least it’s important for current and potential students to know that the quality of instruction and the stature of the faculty is not diminishing in any way. Ideally, it will be increasing in some ways.”

Below is a full list of new Jacobs School of Music hires, according to the institution’s press release:

  • Chris Albanese, assistant professor (choral conducting)
  • Guy Ben‐Ziony, visiting professor of practice (string chamber music)
  • Joanna Blendulf, associate professor (baroque cello/viola da gamba)
  • Carolann Buff, assistant professor (choral conducting)
  • Vincent Carr, associate professor (organ)
  • Todd Coolman, adjunct professor (jazz studies–bass)
  • Daniel Duarte, visiting lecturer (guitar)
  • Austin Hartman, professor of practice (string chamber music)
  • Aida Huseynova, lecturer (music in general studies)
  • Katherine Jolly, assistant professor (voice)
  • Carla Körbes, associate professor (ballet)
  • David Neely, visiting associate professor (orchestral conducting)
  • Kyra Nichols, professor (ballet), Violette Verdy and Kathy Ziliak Anderson Chair in Ballet
  • Denson Paul Pollard, professor (trombone)
  • John Raymond, assistant professor (jazz studies–trumpet)
  • Florence Sitruk, professor (harp)
  • Michael Sowka, visiting academic specialist (piano technology)
  • Tierney Sutton, associate professor (jazz studies)
  • Demondrae Thurman, professor (euphonium)
  • Peter Volpe, associate professor (voice)
  • Thomas Wilkins, professor (orchestral conducting), Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestra Studies
  • Sarah Wroth, visiting associate professor (ballet)

In a previous version of this article, the photo caption stated Sarah Wroth will be joining Jacobs faculty. Wroth has already taken over as associate chair of the ballet department. The IDS regrets its error.

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