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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State appoints new head of music

Fri, March 04, 2016
The Oklahoma State University School of Visual and Performing Arts announced Dr. Howard Potter has accepted its offer to come Professor and Head of the Department of Music, beginning July 1, 2016. Potter is currently Associate Dean of the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music.

The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents Friday approved the appointment of Dr. Howard Potter as Professor and Head of the Department of Music in OSU's School of Visual and Performing Arts beginning July 1. Potter is currently Associate Dean of the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music.  

“We are thrilled Dr. Potter will be joining us during this exciting time for the Arts at OSU," Rebecca Brienen, Director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at OSU said. "His broad and distinguished experiences will help him continue the esteemed tradition of the OSU Department of Music.”

“The faculty and staff of the Department of Music are thrilled at the news of Dr. Potter’s appointment as department head,” Dr. George Speed, interim department head said.  “He brings to the position a world-class pedigree, an impressive resume as a performer, and a sterling record as an administrator. Dr. Potter will provide just the kind of leadership our department needs during this exciting time, as we grow and transition into a new performing arts facility.”

Potter has served as associate dean for community and continuing education at the Eastman School of Music since 2002.  As a veteran teacher and administrator, he has taught and led at the elementary, middle, high school, collegiate, and community school levels.  Potter has served as chair of performing arts the Manlius Pebble Hill School in Syracuse, New York, been a member of the United States Military Academy Band in West Point, New York, performed as a freelance and Broadway musician in New York City, and as a full-time traveling musician in contemporary jazz/rock ensembles.  

“The OSU Music Department is a real gem which is clearly on an upward trajectory,” Potter says.  “What makes this an especially appealing leadership post are the music department’s world-class faculty, the excitement of the newly planned Performing Arts Center, the strengths that come from being part of a major university which is international in scope and most of all, President Hargis’ vision and commitment to the Arts. I am honored to have been selected to lead the OSU Music Department and can’t wait to get started!”

Potter holds degrees from SUNY Fredonia, the Eastman School of Music, the Julliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music.  His principal teachers have included: David Samuels, Fred Hinger, Buster Bailey, John Beck, Ted Frazier, Alan Dawson, and Alfredo Roel.  

Besides leading the Eastman Community Music School and serving on the ESM senior staff, Potter conducted several jazz ensembles, taught jazz theory, and was a part-time associate professor of jazz mallets at Eastman, teaching students from both the college and community divisions.  Potter has conducted numerous all-county jazz ensembles as well as orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber ensembles at the high school, college, and professional levels.  While a professional musician in the West Point Band, Potter founded the West Point Youth Orchestra.  

With over 40 years professional performing experience, Potter has played with numerous orchestras, studio and pit orchestras, and wind ensembles including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Erie Philharmonic, the National Orchestral Association at Carnegie Hall, several Off-Broadway theatre companies and over eight years with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point.  He is currently active as a member of the RPO Marimba Band and plays jazz vibes in a variety of Rochester and Western New York ensembles.  

Howard Potter is married and the father of three children. The son of a career US diplomat, Potter grew up in Tunisia, Ghana, Argentina, Brazil, and Washington, DC, and is conversant in Spanish and Portuguese. Next to being a husband and father, his greatest source of pride is being a teacher and sharing his love of music with his students.


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