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Maurice Draughn

Maurice Draughn to Join the Department of Musical Theatre

Jul 2, 2024 | Faculty Announcements

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance announces that Maurice Draughn will join the Department of Musical Theatre as a clinical assistant professor in the fall of 2024.  Draughn is a multi-instrumentalist and versatile performer. His experiences in music range from orchestral, as a harpist with the Detroit Symphony and Detroit Opera Orchestras, to musicals, as a pit musician in touring productions for Broadway in Detroit.  

Draughn has directed musical productions in a wide range of educational settings including workshops, residencies, and productions at the University of Michigan. His work as an educator spans from the stage to the classroom in both choral music and musical theatre. 

“Professor Draughn has been an outstanding musician and a valued colleague for years, serving as a guest music director, pianist, and harpist in nearly a dozen of our department’s productions,” shared Cynthia Kortman Westphal, interim chair and professor of musical theatre.  “We are thrilled that he will be officially joining our faculty full-time. Given the diverse range of musical styles that our students must master to thrive in today’s industry, his extensive expertise in musical theatre, as well as jazz, gospel, and neo-soul, will be an invaluable asset.”

Draughn previously served as the director of choral activities at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, and he provided musical direction for the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit as a teaching artist, arranger, and touring music director. As a faculty member at Wayne State University, Draughn taught ear training and class piano, and he directed the WSU Men’s Glee Club. He also served as the academic advisor for the Department of Music. During that time, he contributed to the increase in matriculation rates within the department and aided in developing and revising the curriculum for various music degree programs.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the esteemed faculty of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance,” said Draughn. “I am also thrilled to continue working with the exceptional students in SMTD while contributing to the legacy of artistry through collaboration with fellow teaching artists.”

Draughn has appeared on the recordings of notable Grammy Award-winning and -nominated jazz, neo-soul, and gospel artists. He is a sought-after arranger and composer specializing in music for harp and chorus. Moments for alto trombone and harp, his most recent composition,  was commissioned and recorded by Kenneth Thompkins, principal trombonist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2023, Draughn received the inaugural Arts Educator Award from the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University. Draughn received his BM in harp performance and vocal music education from Wayne State University and MCM from Southern Seminary. 

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