The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Meadows Music gets new director

Newly appointed director of the Division of Music at the Meadows School of the Arts, Robert Kemble Dodson has been performing, studying and teaching music for over five decades. Dodson will begin his position in May of this year after serving as provost at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston from 2004-2007.

The performing cellist who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University is part of the third generation in his family to become a professional musician.

After his maternal grandfather, Barrett Stout, opened a music store, he began to sing and eventually completed his master’s degree at NYU and a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He later became dean of the School of Music at Louisiana State University. His uncle, Kemble Stout, pianist and composer, earned a Ph.D. in music composition at the Eastman School and was head of the School of Music at Washington State University for many years.

Dodson himself has an extensive resume of educational work, including being dean of the music conservatory of Oberlin College from 1999-2004 and of Lawrence University from 1989-1999. He also was vice principal and then CEO of the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest music school, from 1981-88; associate professor and artist-in-residence at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, from 1969-81; and artist-in-residence and visiting professor at the University of Lethbridge, in Alberta, Canada, from 1968-69. Dodson was also founder and managing director of The Chamber Music Institute in Canada.

As a performer, Dodson’s resume includes holding the seat of cellist on the Vághy String Quartet, which was formed in 1965 at the Juilliard School and held first chairs of the string section in the Kingston Symphony for a number of years. All of these qualities made Dodson the perfect candidate for the position for those on the search committee. “Along with all the members of the search committee, I am absolutely delighted with the appointment of Robert Dodson,” says Dr. Hal Williams, professor of history and committee chair. Jose Bowen, Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, also said that he believes Dodson will be a great asset to SMU.

“Faculty, staff and students were all absolutely staggered by Robert’s unparalleled accomplishments as an academic leader, his intelligence and his passion, and he was unanimously endorsed by the search committee.”

After years of musical experience and educational experience, Dodson said he is excited about joining the SMU Division of Music. “I am honored to be invited to come to SMU and to Dallas, where passionate commitment to the arts is so evident.”

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