Dean, School of Music

Dean, School of Music
Gary Mortenson, D.M.A.
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Dr. Gary Mortenson

Gary Mortenson has served as Dean of the School of Music since July of 2015. He oversees the activities of 65 full time faculty and 17 staff who serve the needs of 350 music majors and approximately 500 non-majors who participate in music while pursuing majors in a variety of fields. Dr. Mortenson places health and wellness issues as a top priority for the School of Music by resourcing seminars, master classes, and coaching sessions from experts in the field of musicians’ health. Recent topics of discussion have included Self Care and the Student Musician, Protecting Hearing Health, Yoga and Relaxation Techniques for Musicians, Time Management, Performance Anxiety, Research on Brain Activity During Practicing, and What Musicians Need to Know About Beta Blockers and Anti-Depressants.

During Dr. Mortenson’s first year as Dean, he visioned and created the Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Music Competition to identify the top solo and chamber music talent within the School of Music through two rigorous rounds of competition. The winners, selected by a panel of external judges, were presented in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City in late May of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022. The next competition will take place in 2024.

Dean Mortenson’s service to Baylor University has included work as Interim Provost for Administration from April of 2018 through May of 2019. In 2020 he served as co-chair of the Commission on Historic Representations, charged by the Board of Regents to review Baylor University’s history in terms of the early leadership’s involvement and support of slavery, the Confederacy, Reconstruction, and the Lost Cause. The findings and recommendations of the commission are helping to tell a more complete story of Baylor’s early history and to message Baylor’s commitment to nurture and celebrate the increasingly diverse nature of its current and future students.

Prior to coming to Baylor University, Dr. Mortenson taught for 26 years at Kansas State University where he served as Chair of the Department of Music and the inaugural Director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. His degrees are from Augustana College (BME), Ithaca College (MM), and The University of Texas – Austin (DMA). He was the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Publications Editor and served on the ITG Board of Directors for twelve years (2001-2013). During his tenure as editor, Mortenson represented ITG at major international trumpet competitions and conferences in Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2014 he received the ITG Award of Merit. Mortenson’s research on trumpet and brass pedagogy-related topics has been published in the Instrumentalist, Jazz Educator’s Journal, Music Educator’s Journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, and the International Trumpet Guild Journal. Dean Mortenson is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, is a Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate, and is a Phi Mu Alpha honorary member.

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