Campus: San Francisco State University -- October 07, 2002
SFSU puts best feet, fingers forward with new
School of Music and Dance
Legendary Australian pianist Roger Woodward tapped to lead school
in College of Creative Arts
After years as independent departments, San Francisco State University
merged its Music and Dance departments this fall, creating the School
of Music and Dance, to strengthen and expand offerings and allow more
opportunities for student collaborations between the two disciplines.
Roger Woodward, a legendary Australian pianist declared a “living
national treasure” by the National Trust of Australia, was named
director of the School of Music and Dance and a tenured professor of
music. He has recorded 93 albums and videos of concertos, chamber and
contemporary music and performed in 45 countries covering five continents.
“SFSU already has an incredibly talented, diverse and dedicated
faculty, which is the largest of its kind in Northern California,”
said Woodward, 59. “Our students explore a wide range of music
and dance disciplines, which are in the process of being augmented or
extended whilst combining their strengths to create a more ambitious
international training ground.”
Woodward plans to use his international connections to give students
opportunities to perform overseas.
“We need to extend established programs with our European partners
whilst reaching out to the profound and rich cultural diversity which
surrounds us from the Pacific Rim as well as the Caribbean and Central
and South America,” he said.
Music Professor Ronald Caltabiano was named associate director of the
school. A Julliard-educated composer, he has composed works performed
by the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati
Symphony, BBC Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Royal Scottish National
Orchestra. Caltabiano joined SFSU in 1996.
The School of Music and Dance, housed in the College of Creative Arts,
will establish more collaborative performances with students from both
disciplines, such as combining a string quartet with ballet and Latin
jazz with Latin dance. In addition, the school will create joint classes
that incorporate aspects of both music and dance. Two integrated bachelor
degrees, in music/dance and musicology/dance ethnology, will be created
within five years. Like music students, prospective dance majors will
now be required to audition for admission to the program.
Caltabiano is coordinating a new outreach project in five San Francisco
public middle schools and high schools to augment music programs, which
often face major budget cuts. This fall six members of the music faculty
will work with students and mentor teachers in band, voice, jazz, string,
clarinet and bassoon. Caltabiano hopes to eventually expand the project,
dubbed “Overture,” to other parts of the Bay Area.
“The School of Music and Dance ushers in an exciting new era for
the College of Creative Arts,” said Keith Morrison, dean of the
College of Creative Arts. “Under the leadership of legendary musician
Roger Woodward, the marriage of music and dance will poise students
to reach new heights in creative and academic excellence. Not only will
scores of students continue to receive the personal attention and top-notch
instruction from our faculty, but they will also have expanded opportunities
to collaborate with each other, which will be of great benefit to them
in their professional careers.”
SFSU has a long tradition of musical excellence in composition, performance,
jazz and world music, since the Music Department was founded in 1932.
The University has trained hundreds of dancers and presented concerts
featuring a wide range of techniques including ballet, modern, jazz,
capoeira, flamenco, kathak, Afro-Haitian and Dunham for more than 40
years. The Dance Department was founded in 1986.
SFSU’s College of Creative Arts boasts the only academic program
in Northern California primarily devoted to the creative arts. Under
the direction of Morrison, an internationally acclaimed faculty directs
more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in six departments:
Art, Cinema, Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Theatre Arts,
Design and Industry, and the School of Music and Dance.
NOTE: For a photo of Roger Woodward or to schedule an interview with
him, contact Matt Itelson at (415) 338-1743 or email@example.com,
or Ariane Bicho at (415) 338-1442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.