May 19, 2011- The College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah is pleased to announce that James E. Gardner will be the new Director for the School of Music, effective August 1, 2011. Following an extensive national search, Dr. Gardner was chosen with full faculty support for his broad experience and knowledge of music in higher education.
“We are proud to have Dr. Gardner join the College of Fine Arts as the Director for the School of Music,” said Raymond Tymas-Jones, Dean of the College of Fine Arts. “He is a proven arts administrator and visionary leader and I am confident that under his directorship the great musical traditions of the university will continue.”
Gardner’s administrative background includes Associate Director of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, Chair of the Department of Music at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia where he currently serves as Director of Graduate Studies. “I am excited and honored to be joining this institution and its wonderful faculty, students, staff and alumni,” said Gardner, who is not related to the former University president in whose honor the school’s home, David P. Gardner Hall is named. “This university is a significant leader in the arts, sciences and culture. The people of Utah are justly proud of the U and its School of Music.”
Though he is an Oklahoma native and a current resident of Virginia, Dr. Gardner became familiar with the University of Utah and its reputation long before he emerged as a top candidate for his new position.
Gardner and his wife, Diane, are already packing for their move and are looking forward to this new opportunity. Noting, “good things happen in music history classes,” Gardner said that he and Diane met during their undergraduate studies at Oklahoma City University, where he received his bachelor’s in violin performance. He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of North Texas, where he completed his graduate work with a doctoral concentration in music history and musical aesthetics.
With wide-ranging experience in music- from teaching music history and aesthetics to playing violin with noteworthy symphonies- the former concertmaster of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra brings a breadth of expertise to the U. He has performed concertos and chamber works by Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Sarasate, Bart