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Dean Wennerstrom Receives National Prize for Lifetime Achievement

The IU Jacobs School of Music congratulates Associate Dean for Instruction Mary Wennerstrom, who has received the nationally significant Gail Boyd de Stowolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship. The award was announced during the Society for Music Theory's annual conference in Los Angeles on Friday, November 3, 2006.

As the fourth recipient of the prize since its inception in 1985, Dr. Wennerstrom will receive $10,000 for her work as an "outstanding music theory pedagogue, someone who has devoted a lifetime to music theory instruction and scholarship," said alumna Mary Arlin (Ph.D. '71), chair of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, who presented the prize on behalf of the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. Arlin said that the award honors Wennerstrom's "unique mentoring of graduate students, seminal contributions to pedagogical publications, excellence in classroom teaching, and tireless support of professional associations."

"We congratulate Dr. Wennerstrom on this prestigious award," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School. "It is appropriate that she be recognized in this way, since she has held a life-long commitment to teaching, even as she has excelled as an administrator. Mary has personally educated generations of musicians, who continually express their gratitude for their experience with her at Indiana University."

"Mary is revered throughout the discipline for her commitment to excellence in teaching music theory," said Eric Isaacson, chair of the Department of Music Theory at the Jacobs School. "Her influence can be seen in the teaching of those she has mentored, the textbooks they have written, and the curricula they develop."

In keeping with her devotion to the education and support of students, Dean Wennerstrom has decided that the prize money will be converted into a fund that supports an annual award for music theory teaching by student associate instructors at the Jacobs School.

Below is the official release from the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy, which includes a description of Dean Wennerstrom's professional accomplishments:

The Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship

For the fourth time, the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy has a special announcement to make. The de Stwolinski Center was established in 1985 to provide a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information concerning the teaching and learning of music theory.

Many are more familiar with the de Stwolinski Center through our publication, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy. Launched in 1987, JMTP has earned an international reputation for quality articles in music theory pedagogy and maintains an impressive subscription list including most major libraries of the world as well as a substantial list of distinguished individual subscribers. Tim Smith of Northern Arizona University is current editor of JMTP.

This is, indeed, a special day for the de Stwolinski Center. It was one of Gail de Stwolinski's fondest dreams to elevate the role of classroom music theory teacher - the person who devotes a career to this often unsung but vital role.

Pursuant to Gail's wishes, today we announce the fourth recipient of the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship. The de Stwolinski Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is permanently endowed by Louis de Stwolinski, Gail's husband of 45 years. The prize is awarded biennially to an outstanding music theory pedagogue, someone who has devoted a lifetime to music theory instruction and scholarship.

The selection process involves nominations from leaders in the field of music theory pedagogy, and the winner is chosen by a revolving panel of distinguished music theory pedagogues who make a recommendation to the de Stwolinski Center Board of Directors.

The text of the award reads as follows:

Whereas the Board of Directors of the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy have continued approval of a biennial award of Ten Thousand Dollars to be presented to a college music theory teacher who has been exemplary in classroom teaching, pedagogical research, and mentoring of colleagues and students in this field,

Be it therefore resolved that at the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Los Angeles CA in November 2006, the fourth Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship be awarded to Mary Wennerstrom, honoring her unique mentoring of graduate students, seminal contributions to pedagogical publications, excellence in classroom teaching, and tireless support of professional associations.

Mary Wennerstrom

Mary Wennerstrom is Professor of Music and Associate Dean for Instruction at Indiana University. She served as Chair of the Department of Music Theory at IU for over twenty years where she managed the appointment of close to four hundred graduate teaching assistants and oversaw their rigorous training program. As director of a number of dissertations on theory teaching, she continues to be known and respected for her mentoring of the graduate students under her care, many of whom are now serving as theory instructors at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Graduate students who have worked under her supervision have spoken of her creativity, musicality, and sense of humor.

Professor Wennerstrom was the winner of IU's President's Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1993, and she was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Society for Music Theory in 2002 for her role as founding treasurer. She was a leading faculty member at the first College Music Society Summer Institute on Music Theory Pedagogy in Boulder, Colorado, and has often presented papers at regional theory meetings.

Renowned as the editor of Anthology of Musical Structure and Style and Anthology of 20th Century Music, she has served the field of music theory pedagogy in numerous ways: as a member of the GRE and AP-Music test development committees, as chair of the SMT Professional Development Committee, as chair of the Editorial Review Board and subsequently editor of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy.

Her areas of special interest include theory pedagogy, musical form, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century musical structure. As one of the designers of the Integrative Program for Indiana's undergraduates, she helped to invent this innovative curriculum that combined literature and theory in chronological order. This five-term sequence was both creative and ambitious in its scope. Graduate students received invaluable training teaching sections under the guidance of master teachers, and she published an important article describing this curriculum. According to one of her students, Professor Wennerstrom's "efforts have helped to shape the musicianship of many of the best performers today, as well as a whole generation of grateful theorists."

We are indebted to her student and colleague, Robert Hatten, for contributing to this narrative.

Previous winners of the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize are John Buccheri, Northwestern University, Robert Gauldin, Eastman School of Music, and Dorothy Payne, University of South Carolina.