Indiana University

Browse By Topic


For Journalists

Music Publicity
Phone: 812-855-9846
E-mail: musicpub[at]indiana [dot] edu

Lissa May appointed director of undergraduate studies at IU Jacobs School of Music

May 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Following 13 years on the Music Education Department faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Professor Lissa May has been appointed director of undergraduate studies. As such, she will be responsible for implementing all undergraduate degree programs of the Jacobs School of Music. She will work with current director Gary Potter starting this summer and begin full-time duties in January 2013.

"Given the importance of the undergraduate curriculum and its need to evolve to reflect fundamental changes that are occurring in the profession, it is exciting to have the expertise, experience and understanding that Professor May brings to this important administrative post," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School. "Her vast and diverse background gives her a unique perspective from which the school will benefit. We are fortunate that she is willing to serve the school in this role."

During her career, May has been chair of the Jacobs School's Music Education Department; supervisor of fine arts for the Waterford School District in Waterford, Mich.; jazz band director at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.; and associate professor of bands at Purdue University in West Lafayette, where she was responsible for the jazz studies program. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, a Master of Science degree and a Doctorate in Music Education from Indiana University Bloomington.

"I am very pleased that Lissa May has accepted the position of director of undergraduate studies," said Mary Wennerstrom, Jacobs associate dean for instruction. "She has long experience in the Jacobs School of Music as a member of the Music Education faculty and special expertise in curriculum review and undergraduate degree structures. Her membership in Jacobs School committees such as admissions and the School of Music Council and her ongoing participation in Bloomington committees such as the General Education Committee and the IU Assessment Taskforce prepare her for leadership of the undergraduate program in the Jacobs School of Music."

"She is highly respected as a teacher of a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, and as a jazz educator and conductor," Wennerstrom continued. "She brings a diverse experience in teaching and administration to the position, and we look forward to her contributions to the Jacobs School of Music in this new role."

"I am delighted to have been appointed as the next director of undergraduate studies," said May. "I have been associated with the Jacobs School of Music for many years and am honored to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity."

May is a past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association and immediate past president of the Indiana Music Educators Association. She is noted for her work in curriculum review and has reviewed university music education curricula for accreditation by the New York State Board of Regents. She serves on the "Network with an Expert Team" for the Jazz Education Network and is the North Central Division representative on the National Association for Music Education Jazz Education Council. She initiated the Purdue Jazz Festival, which has become one of the largest festivals of its kind in the Midwest. May was an Indiana public school band director for 16 years.

Her publications include compositions for jazz band and concert band and articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Jazz Research Papers, Indiana Musicator and Spotlight on Transition to Teaching. She is the author of Getting Started with Jazz--a 1992 Music Educators National Conference publication--and recently authored the book chapter "Indiana Avenue and Crispus Attucks High School" in David Baker: A Legacy in Music (Monika Herzig, ed.). May also contributed a chapter, "A Content Analysis of Band Repertoire Performed at the Indiana State School Music Association State Concert Organizational Finals: 1985-2010" to Advances in Social-Psychology and Music Education Research (Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman, ed.).