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School of Music represents outstanding achievements and growth

Posted: Jul 23, 2014


Olivet's Marching Tigers — with nearly 200 members — is the largest marching band of any Christian university.


Olivet's two orchestras include more than 70 string players.


“Technology is moving forward, and Olivet is at the forefront with iLearn@Olivet.” — Zach Kohlmeier '13

Recognizing the music program’s outstanding achievements and growth, Olivet announces the renaming of the “Department of Music” to the “School of Music,” effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Don Reddick '79 is appointed as dean.

“Our new name is an affirmation of what our current music program truly is,” says Dr. Reddick. “Since 1982, we have maintained our accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). We are at the front of where music education is heading.”

Over the past ten years, Olivet’s music program has experienced unprecedented expansion, including:
• Growing from one concert band with 60 members, to three concert bands with approximately 60 members each
• Increasing from a single orchestra with 25 string players, to two orchestras with a total of more than 70 string players
• Adding of Proclamation Gospel Choir and Show Choir
• Doubling the number of adjunct faculty members
• Continually increasing the number of concerts and performances given by students and faculty members

More than 500 students (majors and non-majors) currently participate in Olivet’s music programs. The School offers five degree programs: Bachelor of Music degrees in music education, music performance, music composition and music ministry; and a Bachelor of Arts in music degree.

In 2013, the then Department of Music launched the iLearn@Olivet initiative, providing sheet music, textbooks and apps to all music students through the iPad. This was the first distribution of the iPad in the University’s history and one of the first iPad deployments at any college in the country designed specifically to empower young musicians and transform music education.

“Olivet recognizes the music program’s growth in accomplishments, degree offerings and involvement by moving to this new designation,” says Dr. Dennis Crocker '75, vice president for academic affairs. “It is a tribute to the work of the faculty and staff — now as in the past — to bring the program to this point of development and maturity. For students, this is an additional recognition of the quality program from which they will be receiving their degrees.”

A building expansion of about 18,000 square feet is planned for the current Larsen Fine Arts Center, where the School of Music is housed. The School also hopes to establish a Master in Music degree program.

“As an Olivet alumnus, as well as the dean, I want Olivet to be the best it can be,” Dr. Reddick says. “We are building on our strengths while keeping our eyes on our potential for growth.”