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Kent State University and Ohio State University Updates


Kent State School of music

The Kent State School of Music is pleased to welcome several new faculty members to our ranks this year including Dr. Sarah Labovitz, Director of the School of Music; Dr. Jacob Schnitzer, Interim Director of Orchestras; Bret Peppo, Interim Director of Choral Activities; Amy Glick, violin; Benjamin Hottensmith, horn; and Tom Ray, guitar.
This summer, Kent State welcomed more than 70 teachers to our on-campus workshop courses in Orff-Schulwerk, MLT Early Childhood, and conducting. Dr. Butch Marshall, along with Dr. Wendy Valerio (University of South Carolina) taught the early childhood course with students from the United States, Canada, and Greece. Look for information soon about our 2024 offerings!
Dr. Marshall wrote chapters on arranging and musical theatre in Teaching Instrumental Music: Contemporary Perspectives and Pedagogies (Oxford University Press). He will be presenting at the American Eurhythmics Society national conference in Columbus in October.
Dr. Jay Dorfman and doctoral student Jacob Gibson presented research on preparation for student teaching at the Symposium of the Society for Music Teacher Education in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are thrilled to announce that our fully online Master of Music in Music Education program now has graduates in all 50 states! This amazing program can be completed in less than two years and includes optional summer courses on campus.
The 2023 Wind Band Conducting Symposium will be November 3-4 with guest clinician Emily Threinen (University of Minnesota). The Symposium will feature KSU faculty and band ensembles. The KSU All-Star Band will be January 12-13, 2024 with guest conductors Leah McGray (SUNY Geneseo) and Arman Hall (Gateways Music Festival). Find more information about both events at

The Ohio State University School of Music

Ohio State welcomes several new faculty members this year. Heather Lofdahl, Assistant Professor of String Music Education, is a string education specialist who previously served as string techniques instructor at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, and music director of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra. She is published in the String Research Journal and American String Teachers (AST) Journal, is an active member of the American String Teachers Association and the National Association for Music Education, and has served on the AST Editorial Committee.
Elisabeth Shafer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone, is a dedicated performer and music educator who has appeared in concert with orchestras, chamber ensembles and jazz bands around the country. She previously served on faculty at the University of Memphis and the University of Akron, and taught at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute; she is currently on the faculty at Luzerne Music Center. She frequently presents clinics at conferences, schools and universities across the United States. 
Ohio State’s new offerings in hip-hop are a valuable addition to our School’s comprehensive music program. Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson, Assistant Professor of Creative Practice in Popular Music, holds a PhD in Higher Administration from the University of Oklahoma; is a DJ, producer, educator; and was the Nasir “Nas” Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at Harvard University. Jason Rawls, Assistant Professor of Hip-Hop, has decades of K–12 teaching experience in addition to over a decade in higher education, most recently at Ohio University. Additional new faculty include John Pellegrino, double bass; Karl Wohlwend, classical guitar, and Collin Richardson, organ. Eugenia Costa-Giomi, Professor of Music Education, has been appointed Director of Graduate Studies. With several offerings, the Pathways to your Future in Music Education was a success this past summer. We look forward to seeing everyone in Columbus for the OMEA PDC in February.