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Regents appoint Melody Racine as interim dean of SMTD


Melody Racine, senior associate dean for academic, faculty, and student affairs at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) will step in as interim dean of the school, effective Aug. 16. The university's Board of Regents today approved Racine's appointment.

Racine will take over for Aaron Dworkin who earlier this spring announced that he will step down from his role as dean to serve as a tenured professor of music at SMTD, where he will teach entrepreneurship and arts leadership.

"Professor Racine is an accomplished mezzo soprano, a master teacher and a skilled and effective administrator. Over several years of increasing administrative responsibility in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, she has demonstrated an impressive ability to understand, lead, and support the programs and activities of the school and to engage its many stakeholders," said Paul N. Courant, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

"I am confident that under her leadership the school will continue to enhance its excellence in the performing arts as well as its innovation in education and outreach."

In her role as interim dean, Racine said she is eager and is grateful to have this opportunity to build upon the accomplishments of previous deans.

"It is a privilege to serve as acting dean at SMTD following Aaron Dworkin's dynamic two years of visionary leadership, as well as that of his predecessor, Dean Christopher Kendall, with whom I worked closely throughout his tenure," said Racine.

"I look forward to building on their exciting accomplishments and working with our excellent faculty, staff, and students as we continue to train the next generation of leading artists and scholars in the performing arts."

A tenured associate professor of music, teaching voice in classical performance and musical theatre, Racine is former chair of the Department of Voice and is a recipient of the Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio instruction.

She received a BA in music and elementary education from the University of Michigan-Flint followed by an MM in vocal performance at SMTD. She began her academic career at the school as a lecturer, and went on to become a clinical assistant professor of music. She was promoted to clinical associate professor of music before serving as chair of the Voice Department. 

She was named associate dean of academic affairs in 2011, with the title later amended to associate dean for academic and student affairs, to more fully capture the responsibilities encompassed within the position. The title was again changed in 2016, to senior associate dean for academic, faculty and student affairs, to reflect Racine's increased responsibilities in the management of the school.

In her current role, Racine is responsible for educational policy and academic programs and many aspects of faculty administration. She has oversight and management of an $11 million scholarship budget and the scholarship committee; the dispensation of miscellaneous funds for student and faculty use; the undergraduate curriculum and SMTD study abroad; faculty mentorship programs and the school's entrepreneurship and career development program; faculty loads and lecturer contracts; the registrar office; the scheduling office and policies; ensemble operations; academic discipline; and some of SMTD's high profile events, such as commencement, and the annual Concerto Competition and Scholarship Showcase.

Racine has maintained a teaching profile throughout her tenure in administration, as she believes that this contact with students keeps her in touch with what matters most to them in the educational environment. Among the many acclaimed singers that she has taught are Gavin Creel, winner of a 2017 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his role in Hello Dolly; and Justin Paul, who, with fellow SMTD alum Benj Pasek, won the 2017 award for Best Score for Dear Evan Hansen. Other former students include Celia Keenan-Bolger, Hailey Clark, Alex Gemignani, Daniel Reichard and Vince Yi, along with many others who are presently making a difference in opera and musical theatre.

In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities, Racine continues to perform though her love for SMTD administration plays a more primary role. At home, she is honored to have sung with U-M's Professor Martin Katz, world-renowned collaborative pianist. Her singing has taken her to music festivals in Aspen and Tanglewood, along with concert, oratorio, and operatic stages all over the United States and in Italy. She has performed leading roles in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Turn of the Screw, Der fliegende Hollander, Lakmé, and Four Saints in Three Acts, among others.

past news

November 2015
October 2014

Anisha Nandi, from The Michigan Daily, sat down with professor Michael Gould to talk about his "Remember Me" show. The video can be seen on the Michigan Daily website.   10/01/2014

July 2014

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance, Peter Sparling is a recipient of a Distinguished University Professorship. Effective September 1, Sparling will be a Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor. This appointment is one of the highest honors the University can bestow upon a faculty member.   07/18/2014

Professor Patricia Hall will be presenting her paper, "Alban Berg's 'Guilt' by Association to the Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union conference at the Colburn School in Los Angeles this August.   07/12/2014

April 2014

Prof. Ed Sarath Receives U-M's "Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award" 04/21/2014

Professor Kuster Wins Prestigious OPERA America Grant 04/04/2014

Professor Mukherji to Speak in London this July 04/04/2014

Áine Heneghan, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, will present her research on Schoenberg's Formenlehre at the following conferences, all in 2014: Music Theory Midwest (Appleton, WI), the Eighteenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (Toronto, Canada), EuroMAC (Leuven, Belgium), and the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory (Milwaukee).   04/01/2014

March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

A Multimedia Installation on Climate Change 03/28/2014

Wayne Petty, Associate Professor of Music Theory, will read his paper, "Some Multimovement Designs in C. P. E. Bach's Late Keyboard Sonatas" at the Seventh EuroMac conference, which will gather scholars from all music theory societies in Europe in Leuven, Belgium, from 17 to 21 September, 2014.  An adaptation of the paper will be presented to the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee in the Fall of 2014.   03/26/2014

Walter Everett, Professor of Music Theory, announces the publication of Los Beatles como músicos: De Revolver de la Antología (Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia, 2013), the Spanish translation of his The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology (Oxford University Press, 1999).   03/21/2014

Celebration of Professor George Shirley's 80th Birthday 03/19/2014

Prof. Korsyn presents keynote in The Hague, serves in scholarly appointments 03/14/2014

December 2013

In January 2014 Professor Wayne Petty will read the paper, "Wilhelm Fischer and the Fortspinnung-type Sonata Exposition," at the Seventh International Conference on Music Theory in Tallin and Pärnu, Estonia.  The conference theme is "Musical Form: Mapping the Territories."   12/17/2013

AmeriGrove II, edited by Professor Charles Garrett, is published 12/13/2013

November 2013

Gosman Presents Beethoven Research 11/16/2013

Department of Music Theory Announces Visiting Speakers of 2014 11/16/2013

Everett Launches Beatles Observances 11/16/2013

Interarts professor Holly Hughes presents The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony) in a webcast performance at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Mon., Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Her newest performance work, the piece offers a poetic and comic meditation on midlife crises in the key of canine.   11/01/2013

September 2013

SMTD Welcomes New Faculty 09/27/2013

Ramon Satyendra, associate professor of music theory, has published his essay, "Morphisms of Generalized Interval Systems and PR-Groups" (co-authored with Thomas Fiore and Thomas Noll), in Journal of Mathematics and Music 7/1.   09/20/2013

Alan Gosman Co-authors New Beethoven Book 09/06/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

June 2013

SMTD Mourns Professor Emeritus Erling Bengtsson 06/10/2013

Holly Hughes, professor of interarts performance in the Department of Theatre & Drama, was profiled in Hyperallergic, an online magazine about art and culture, which included a Q&A with Hughes about her role as one of the "NEA Four."   06/06/2013

Music theory professor Walter Everett's role as an expert on the music of the Beatles was the subject of an article in      06/06/2013

Hall presents in Copenhagen 06/03/2013

May 2013

Robert Hurst, associate professor of jazz and contemporary improvisation, was featured in a Q&A article in on the occasion of the release of his new CD, BOB: a palindrome.   05/01/2013

November 2012
November 2011
February 2010
Current Faculty News
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