Baylor Provost David Garland Announces Appointment of Dr. Gary Mortenson as Dean of the School of Music

March 30, 2015
MortensonDr. Gary Mortenson (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (March 30, 2015) — After an extensive national search, Baylor University Provost and Executive Vice President David E. Garland, Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., as the new dean of the School of Music at Baylor.

Dr. Mortenson currently serves as director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Kansas State University, where he is professor of trumpet and has taught since 1989. The International Trumpet Guild named him as recipient of the organization’s Award of Merit at its 2014 conference. He will be presented with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head at Kansas State University in May.

He will begin his service to Baylor on July 1, succeeding Baylor alumnus Dr. William V. May, B.M.E. ’69, who retired as dean in July 2014 before returning to the faculty as a professor of music. Dr. Timothy McKinney, Ph.D., professor of music theory, has served as interim dean of the School of Music since August 2014.

Dr. Mortenson earned his bachelor’s degree in music education degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois; his master’s degree of music in trumpet performance from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York; and his doctorate of musical arts in trumpet performance from The University of Texas at Austin.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Mortenson agreed to join Baylor as our new Dean of the School of Music,” said Dr. Garland. “He is an outstanding, award-winning musician, has had extensive experience in music education in a university setting, and is recognized as a talented administrator. Dr. Mortenson stood out to the search committee for his leadership qualities, his belief in the importance of quality music education, his creativity, and his research. He recognizes that Baylor has an extraordinary music school, and I firmly believe that he will lead to new heights this wonderful school that is so important to our campus and to our community.”

“Throughout the interview process at Baylor, and in all of my investigations to learn about the university and community, it was obvious that Baylor stands for quality, integrity, and passion for knowledge,” Dr. Mortenson said. “I aspire to those qualities in my life and work. We need for our institutions of higher learning to stand for something today and not to shy away from the strength of their convictions. Baylor is a place that is authentic in its beliefs, genuine in its pursuit of quality, and caring in nurturing its student body in life-affirming principles.

“My goals for the School of Music at Baylor are to understand the considerable strengths already present in the School, to listen carefully to the wisdom that is already present among the faculty and student body, and to explore every opportunity that presents itself to keep Baylor on the path toward ever greater national and international recognition,” he said. “Music at Baylor is already far down the path of excellence, with an incredibly competitive environment to attract the best students to the school.”

Since the founding of Kansas State’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in 2012, Dr. Mortenson has worked with the faculty and with friends and supporters of Kansas State to renovate Kirmser Hall, address infrastructure needs in the Mark A. Chapman Theatre, gain All-Steinway recognition for Kansas State (the only university in Kansas to hold that distinction) and to realize the construction and opening of the new Purple Masque Theatre on the west side of Memorial Stadium. He also worked to increase support for both faculty development and student scholarships through the Kansas State University Foundation.

Mortenson served as the International Trumpet Guild Publications Editor and a member of the guild’s board of directors from 2001-2013. As editor, he represented the guild at major international trumpet competitions.

Mortenson’s research has been published in the Instrumentalist, Jazz Educators Journal, Music Educators Journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists and the International Trumpet Guild Journal.

Mortenson and his wife, Kristin, have two children: Leah, who is completing her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Kansas; and Sarah, who is completing her sophomore year in the Dance Program at the University of Minnesota. The family attends services at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Our students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service, and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, the students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture, and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. The School of Music of Baylor University is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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