The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

November 16, 2007

Dean Christopher Waterman announced today that the Herb Alpert Foundation has given 30 million dollars to UCLA, specifically to create a synergistic relationship between the three (now) separate music departments: The Department of Musicology, The Department of Ethnomusicology, and The Department of Music. I am the Chair of the latter. Associate Dean Tim Rice has been appointed Director of the “school within a School.” Chris Pasles wrote a nice article about it today it the LA Times. The press release gives more details:

Aligning the university’s Departments of Ethnomusicology, Music and Musicology, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will be devoted to the performance and study of music in all of its global diversity, including world music, popular music, jazz and classical music. UCLA students will have the opportunity to augment their academic studies in music with such courses as the music business, music in the public sector, and music and health. This balanced approach to performance, scholarship and practical knowledge, as well as to the broad sweep of music in today’s world represents a significant departure from the emphasis in many U.S. schools of music on the theory, history and performance of European classical music.

Pasles adds:

Waterman expects the endowment, which will be given over three years, to generate about $1.4 million annually.

“A certain chunk of that will go for technology and equipment,” he said. “Another will be given to scholarships and trying to recruit the best students and faculty we can. I don’t think we’re going to have any problem spending it to achieve our aspirations.”

“Two things excite me about the possibilities here,” Rice said. “One is, from the inception this school will have the best balance between creativity and scholarship, and interesting new ways of thinking about music.”

After reading all this, you can imagine I have a pretty cool job ahead. It’s a fun time to be Chair.

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