Dr. David Keith Appointed Interim Dean of Music; Search Committee Announced

April 5, 2012

Media Contact: Cindy Hill, (478) 301-2933 or hill_c@mercer.edu

Mercer University Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis has announced the appointment of Dr. David Keith, director of graduate studies and associate professor in the Townsend School of Music, as interim dean of the Townsend School, effective July 1. Dr. Davis also announced the appointment of a search committee to assist with the recruitment of a permanent leader for the school.

The School’s current dean, Dr. John H. Dickson, announced in February that he is stepping down at the end of this academic year to accept the position of director of choral studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. 

Appointed as director of Mercer’s Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music on Aug. 1, 2010, Dr. Keith for 27 years served as professor of conducting and church music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music. Immediately prior to joining the Mercer music faculty, he served as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Keith received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to serving as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church, Dr. Keith has also worked as an adjunct professor of music at Belmont University, chorus director for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and director of choral activities at Howard Payne University.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with an extremely competent faculty and excellent students during this time of transition,” Dr. Keith said. “John Dickson has done a marvelous job as dean, and I see no reason that we will not continue to move along the path of establishing the Townsend School of Music as one of the leading places for musical education in the country.” 

Members of the search committee include Dr. Stanley L. Roberts, associate dean and the Arthur Lowndes Rich Professor of Choral Conducting; Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and holder of the Caroline Paul King Chair in Violin; Dr. Carol S. Goff, associate professor, chair of keyboard studies and coordinator of the collaborative piano program; Elizabeth Pridgen, assistant professor of music and holder of the G. Leslie Fabian Chair; and Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music, director of instrumental ensembles, director of undergraduate studies and coordinator of the music education program. Dr. Roberts will chair the search committee.

“I am grateful that Dr. Keith has agreed to serve as interim dean of the Townsend School of Music,” Dr. Davis said. “David has worked tirelessly to advance the School of Music, and I am confident he will provide great leadership and continue to move the School forward as we search for a permanent dean. I am also grateful for the outstanding faculty who have volunteered their time to serve on the search committee. Their work will begin immediately.”

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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