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University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance names new dean

Courtesy: University of Michigan News
Courtesy: University of Michigan News

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the appointment of David A. Gier Thursday as the dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

His appointment is effective Oct. 1 until Sept. 2023.

Gier, professor and director of the University of Iowa School of Music, was also named the Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music.

He follows Aaron Dworkin, who stepped down as the U-M SMTD's dean last year. Since August 2017, Melody Lynn Racine has served as interim dean.
"Professor Gier is an accomplished musician and an award-winning teacher," U-M Provost Martin Philbert said in recommending Gier for the role. "As an academic leader, he has demonstrated an impressive ability to combine vision and action effectively. His commitment to learning and ability to forge innovative partnerships will make him an outstanding dean."
Although the faculty position is new for Gier, it won't be his first time in Ann Arbor. He received his Bachelor of Music from U-M in 1983 with high distinction. 
"It is a thrill to be returning to my alma mater, and I am both excited and humbled by the prospect of working with the exceptional faculty, staff and students of SMTD," Gier said in a press release. "The school has a rich and sustaining legacy, remarkable artistic and intellectual resources, and a longstanding commitment to deep disciplinary excellence and innovation.
"I look forward to helping SMTD build upon these assets and expand its reach and influence through an investment in creative cross-campus collaborations, public engagement and programs that prepare students to be leaders in the profession."

Gier served as a professor of music for 23 years at University of Iowa School of music, starting out as an associate professor and working his way up to director, a position he has held since 2010.

Before he arrived in Iowa, Gier served for six years on the faculty of Baylor University. 

He also has a Master of Musical Arts degree and doctorate in musical arts from the Yale University School of Music.

According to the press release:

"An accomplished trombonist, Gier began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra New England and performed with numerous professional ensembles. From 1990 to 2008, Gier was the principal trombonist of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann.
"As a soloist, clinician and adjudicator, Gier has performed and presented at many colleges, universities and professional conferences, including the International Trombone Festival, Eastern Trombone Workshop, Music Educators' National Conference and New York Brass Symposium. While at Iowa, he performed widely with the Iowa Brass Quintet and has served as principal trombonist of Quad City Symphony Orchestra since 2001."

To learn more about the U-M's SMTD, visit www.smtd.umich.edu.

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