The UIC School of Theater and Music announces the appointment of a new Chair of Music, Brent S. Talbot, Ph.D.
Brent Talbot is equally comfortable in the classroom, on the conductor’s podium, at an academic conference, and as director of the music program. That comfort comes from being a musician, teacher, software developer, and scholar who has been driving change in the field of music education for the past two decades.
Talbot is a versatile musician with skills in piano, choral and instrumental conducting, Balinese gamelan and other musical traditions. Since receiving the doctorate. in music education and a diploma in ethnomusicology from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, Talbot has distinguished himself through innovative research and teaching.
A prolific author and regular presenter, Talbot explores power, discourse and issues of justice in diverse settings of music studies around the world. He is the editor of the best-selling music education book Marginalized Voices in Music Education, curator of the indigenous resource Gending Rare: Children’s Songs and Games from Bali, and co-author of the acclaimed book Music Education. , and Student Life: Student Chapel and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Over the past decade, Talbot has published more than thirty articles and chapters in leading journals and publishing companies, and given more than 140 presentations on topics that promote equity and inclusion, as well as diversifying approaches to music learning and teaching. He is a member of the steering committees of leading national and international organizations in the field of music education, as well as on many research and editorial boards around the world.
Talbot is excited to bring his expertise in music education to UIC and realize a vision for growth that builds on the strength of the current music programs, the campus’ commitment to diversity and the arts, and the city of Chicago: “The UIC School of Theater and Music has great potential to support a robust music education program, which is suitable for the urban context. Other music education programs exist in US cities, but they are usually not developed in collaboration with urban students, families, and teachers, and therefore rarely reflect or respond to the needs of the context in which they live. However, we are uniquely positioned to build on the strong partnerships that already exist between UIC and Chicago Public Schools and schools in surrounding municipalities. As a professor of music education, I want to develop a program that will benefit Chicago’s artist educators and be relevant to the lives of its citizens.
I am also excited to continue building momentum in our fundraising efforts for the new Center for the Arts. Working with our partners in the College of Architecture, Design and Art, I am confident that the vision of our state-of-the-art institution will be closer to reality. And that our physical infrastructure will soon be able to reflect, as well as inspire, the exceptional work of our students and faculty.”
Christine Dunford, director of UIC’s School of Theater and Music, enthuses about Talbot: “As a former K-12 music teacher in Brooklyn and Rochester, New York, and as someone who has also taught at the University of Illinois, the University of North Texas, and most recently In the past twelve years as music education coordinator at Gettysburg College’s Sanderman Conservatory of Music, Talbot understands who we are at UIC and, just as importantly, who we are not. He understands our student musicians and the opportunities that being in Chicago affords us. Its commitment to welcoming students from very diverse musical and cultural backgrounds, educating and preparing them for careers in music and related fields will help us meet a number of unmet needs. The structures he is creating with our team of outstanding faculty and staff will help position us as a national leader and model in urban arts education.”
Talbot’s short-term goals involve supporting ongoing music programs and ensembles.
“Professor Robert DiFazio has developed an exciting music business program that attracts students from across the Midwest. I want to support his efforts by expanding the diversity of internships and partnerships across the city and nationally, while combining the strengths of the music business program with our new music education program.”
Talbot is also excited about the possibilities of UIC’s jazz studies program.
“Chicago lives and breathes jazz. I want to use the music and jazz culture of Chicago to support our jazz studies degree. By thinking creatively with Director of Jazz Studies Michael Stryker and our jazz faculty, we are making UIC the best place to study jazz that reflects the unique sound of Chicago and the exceptional artists who live here.”
Continuing to support UIC’s long tradition of bands, orchestras and choirs, Talbot is committed to expanding the ensemble offerings at UIC to reflect the diversity of identity across the city. He is currently working with Indonesian partners to create a gamelan ensemble. Together with choir director Lisa Kalisesi Maidens, they have already begun to conceptualize ways to partner with justice and equity-oriented ensembles in the city and ways to establish a gospel choir on campus.
“The UIC Music Department not only serves students who wish to pursue a music education, it also serves the social, emotional and community needs of our campus. With nearly 34,000 students in a variety of majors, we want to make sure we can satisfy students’ desire to study music, attend concerts, and perform in our diverse ensembles and musical offerings—be it mariachi or pop rock. we want UIC students to find and express their identity through music.”
Learn more about Brent C. Talbot.
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