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Brent steps down as dept. head; replacement takes over July 1
Jun 15, 2013 | 372 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Greg Handel has been named acting director of the Mrs. H.D. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University effective July 1. His appointment is pending approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Handel replaces Bill Brent, who will become director of operations and special projects for the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

“Becoming acting director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts is a huge honor,” said Handel. “When I interviewed at Northwestern State, I was extremely impressed by the spirit and collegiality of the faculty and staff in CAPA and the university. I was quick to realize the stellar leadership that Mr. Brent had given in building a high-quality faculty and student body in the arts, and I was honored to receive an offer to join the faculty. Mr. Brent and I will continue to work closely to maintain the quality of CAPA, and to move forward and grow our programs in the arts to both meet the needs of our region and our disciplines.”

Handel has been at Northwestern State for five years as an assistant professor of music education and will be an associate professor of music education this fall. He was named associate director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts in January.

“Greg is an outstanding faculty member, a team-player and understands the necessity of all of the CAPA programs working together to ensure the success of the School,” said Brent. “I think he will do a tremendous job for Northwestern State and the Natchitoches community. He is articulate, has a warm and outgoing personality and a genuinely caring person.  It is really important that the School continue to be highly visible and offer outstanding theatre productions, dance recitals, music recitals, concerts and gallery exhibitions because this sorts of events help drive the local economy and bring outstanding students to campus from across Louisiana, the United States and beyond.  With his leadership, I am sure that the success of the School will continue.”

Brent will focus on observation of student teachers, student recruitment and fundraising.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor for me to serve as director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts for the past 27 years,” said Brent. “Many great strides have been made in the quality of events and as well as the talented students who come to NSU to study with a world-class faculty.”

Brent praised the School’s faculty for their dedication to Northwestern State.

  “I simply cannot say enough about our faculty.  The past four years have been extremely difficult due to the budget cuts that have had a negative impact on all of higher education in Louisiana,” said Brent. “However, our faculty have met the challenge and continue to find ways to inspire our students every single day.  While I am proud of our students, I’m most proud of our faculty.” 

The School of Creative and Performing Arts included the Department of Fine + Graphic Arts, the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance.

“Patrons and supporters of CAPA can rest assured that they will continue to be treated to high-quality performances in music, theatre, dance and art, and I look forward to assisting CAPA to continue to play a vital role in the spirit and personality of NSU,” said Handel.

Handel teaches courses in music, music education and fine arts and advises more than 80 music education majors each semester. He also served as rehearsal accompanist/organist for the Northwestern State’s Chamber Choir and Concert Choir. Handel received the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research. He has been a public school teacher at all levels in South Dakota and Arizona.

Handel and Director of Bands Jeff Mathews co-authored “The Best Sounding Band in the Land: A History of the Northwestern State University Band,” which will be published soon. He has also contributed to The Grove Dictionary of American Music and the Music Educator’s Journal. Handel has been a regular presenter at state, regional and national professional conferences. He is organist at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches.

A graduate of Augustana College, Handel earned a master’s degree and doctorate at Arizona State University.


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