Dr. Jeffrey Showell, a professor and director of the School of Music at James Madison University, has been appointed the next dean of the College of Musical Arts. Dr. Kenneth Borland, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, made the announcement today (March 28) following a national search. Showell’s appointment becomes effective June 30.
“Dr. Showell has the passion, intellect, gifts and outstanding leadership experience to bring the College of Musical Arts into a well-deserved place of national prominence,” Borland said of Showell.
Showell holds bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and a master and doctorate of musical arts from Yale University.
As director of the School of Music at JMU, he oversees 45 full-time and 20 part-time faculty members and 450 majors. In the fall of 2009 he worked to create the Harlem Symphony Initiative, a reciprocal exchange of master classes and recitals by JMU faculty and symphony members. JMU also will become the summer home of the symphony.
While at James Madison, Showell was involved with the design, programming, construction and fund-raising for a new, 175,000-square-foot performing arts center that opened in May of 2010, and helped secure $1 million in private donations to help JMU become the first All-Steinway School in Virginia.
For nine years he’s been an Accreditation Visitor for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), having made accreditation visits to about 15 universities. For the last three years, he’s also been a member of the NASM central accreditation commission.
Before becoming an administrator, Showell was an accomplished violist. He served for eight years as the principal violist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, was a soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and violist in the Rymour String Quartet.
“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to step into Richard Kennell’s large shoes as dean of the BGSU College of Musical Arts, to continue his work in elevating the national profile of this extraordinary College,” Showell said.
(Submitted by Susan Knapp)