Dr. Kent McWilliams to lead Kent State School of Music into next chapter as Director

Kent, Ohio – After a national search, the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music and the College of the Arts at Kent State University are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kent McWilliams as the next Director of the School of Music. Formerly, Dr. McWilliams served as a Professor of Music and Associate Dean of Fine Arts at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Dr. McWilliams began his role as Director at Kent State on July 1, 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kent McWilliams as the new Director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music,” said Dr. John Crawford-Spinelli, Dean of the College of the Arts. “His expertise, experience and collaborative approach will help propel the School of Music to even greater heights in the coming years.”

An accomplished, award-winning pianist and educator, Dr. McWilliams, D.M.A., holds music performance degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal as well as an Artist Diploma from the Stuttgart Musikhochschule. Dr. McWilliams made his orchestral debut with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, performing Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto. He has performed live on the CBC in Canada and the ABC in Australia. Recently, he released an album on Albany Records with renowned clarinetist Jun Qian titled “East Meets West: Music for Clarinet and Piano by Chinese Composers.” His students have gone on to successful careers in performance and education, with many winning or competing as finalists of numerous local, regional and national competitions. An in-demand clinician, Dr. McWilliams has given music pedagogy workshops in 25 states and provinces and has also been invited to adjudicate the national finals of the MTNA competition and the Canadian Music Competitions.

During his 18-year tenure at St. Olaf College, Dr. McWilliams has held several leadership positions, including Co-Chair of the Music Department and chair of the Artist Series Committee. In his most recent position as an Associate Dean of Fine Arts, he has served as a member of the Deans Council charged with overseeing all of the academic programs of the college. Dr. McWilliams has also been an active and engaged member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, serving on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“I am honored to have the chance to work on the wide range of programs available at the Kent State School of Music,” said Dr. McWilliams. “The energy of the Kent State music faculty create a strong student-centered focus to the School and I look forward to working with such an exuberant team of committed pedagogues.”

Dr. McWilliams joins the School of Music at pivitol time in its over 100-year history, as academic programs expand, enrollment continues to increase, and new partnerships have been established with area organizations. The School is poised for further growth and welcomes the diversity of leadership experience Dr. McWilliams will bring to the Director role.

About the School of Music

The Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University, nestled in beautiful and vibrant Kent, Ohio, is one of the most distinguished schools of music in the Midwest. For over 100 years, the School of Music has produced the next generation of music educators, performing artists and scholars. The School offers some of the most comprehensive and innovative degree programs in the country, with an emphasis on experiential learning, quality scholarship and immersive technical training. Our graduates have gone on to have successful careers in music education, music performance, scholarly research, higher education and administration.

During the summer, the School of Music hosts the Kent Blossom Music Festival in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Music Center. The festival is regarded as one of the premier centers for professional music training for young artists in the United States. Now entering its 51st season in 2019, the festival continues its now half-century legacy of helping to launch the careers of young artists with alumni holding positions of prominence in many of the world’s finest orchestras, chamber ensembles and educational institutions.


Press Inquiries:

Andrew Paa
Marketing Assistant, School of Music
apaa@kent.edu | 330-672-0894

POSTED: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 9:51am
UPDATED: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 9:57am