Dr. Jeffrey Wright, dean of the College of the Arts and chair of the School of Music at Anderson University, received the “Administrator of the Year” from the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) during the organization’s most recent conference in Indianapolis. In order to be considered for the award, the honoree must be currently be working in Indiana; show outstanding achievement/support in the total music education program at level for which he/she is responsible; promote good relationships with music faculty; support and/or contribute by participation in community cultural events.
"Dr. Wright is a superb professional whose administrative abilities are appreciated by students and faculty alike,” said Dr. Carl Caldwell, vice-president for Academic Affairs and Dean. “In his years at Anderson University he has led the music program to new levels of excellence which have benefited the entire university."
The faculty within the School of Music at Anderson University; faculty associated with the summer Orff-Schulwerk Certification program at AU; current and former AU students; and parents of AU students all submitted letters of support for Wright’s nomination.
“Vision, character, and integrity would describe Dr. Wright as an administrator and as a person,” said Dr. Susan Taylor, associate professor of Music at Anderson University. “He has the ability to encourage his students and faculty to think creatively, maximize our gifts, and realize our fullest potential as educators and artists. His global vision for the future of the arts is what inspires each of us to excel.”
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Wright teaches in the areas of music education and church music at Anderson University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Georgia State University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Northwestern University. Prior to accepting his position at Anderson University in 1995, Dr. Wright was an assistant dean in the School of Music at Northwestern University and a member of the music education faculty. He is co-editor of the book On the Nature of Musical Experience published by the University Press of Colorado. His dissertation, “Belief Systems and Their Influence on Musical Experience,” was nominated for Outstanding Dissertation of the Year in 1992.
Dr. Wright served as producer and artistic director of many operas and musical theater productions at Northwestern University, and was executive director of the National Opera Association. He worked extensively in Chicago and throughout the Midwest as an adjudicator, guest conductor and evaluator of music education programs. He served as a consultant with the Ravinia Festival (the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the Merit Music Program of Chicago, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the DePaul University School of Music (Chicago, IL). In addition to his work as a teacher and administrator, Dr. Wright has acquired many years of experience as a church musician, and currently serves as the director of Music for Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.
The mission of the IMEA (www.imeamusic.org ) is to support and advance music education in Indiana by representing the united interests of music educators and students and by providing professional leadership and service in music education to enhance the arts in the schools; to function as the federated state unit of the Music Educators National Conference.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.