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Faculty News: Updates on Carolyn Watson's scholarly and creative activities

Scholarly/Creative Activities

Carolyn Watson, director of orchestral activities, recently completed a recording project with the Austin Symphony (January 2021) and during the fall, she led the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in four outdoor performances at venues throughout Kansas City.

This year has been productive with respect to Watson's written work, with final revisions on her book chapter, "Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Women Conductors, Old Trends, New Challenges" completed in preparation for publication in a Handbook on Women’s Work in Music by Routledge UK in early 2021. Recent publications also include peer-reviewed articles in the College Orchestra Directors Association JournalThree Great American Chamber Works, and a paper co-authored with Martin Nedbal, associate professor of musicology, in Norwegian journal Music and Practice, detailing the KU Symphony Orchestra’s Reimagined Beethoven Cycle in 2020.

Watson was invited to appear as a featured panelist in an international symposium on Women Conductors hosted by the Frost School of Music in September, and would also have presented on the orchestral works of Kodaly at an international Kodaly Symposium hosted by Texas Tech University, had it not been postponed due to Covid-19.

Service Activities and Initiatives

Together with a colleague, Watson co-founded a webinar series, Maestro as Professor, a resource for conductors and students interested in a collegiate career. This summer initial series of six webinars proved so successful, they followed up with a second series in winter 2020 targeted to young conductors interested in a career in conducting, and/or studying conducting at the graduate level. Total enrollment for Maestro as Professor was over 350 participants from 30 countries across 5 continents.

On a national level, Watson founded WAICODA – the Women’s Advocacy Initiative of the College Orchestra Directors Association, and also served as a conducting mentor for the Women’s Artistic Leadership Initiative.

Internationally, she continues to serve on the organizing committee for the 2021 Oxford Conducting Institute Conference, and as a reviewer for the American-Australian Association’s Arts Fund Awards. Watson also continued in her role as President of the South-Central Region of the College Orchestra Directors Association, presented an online clinic at the University of Louisville, and was an external reviewer for tenure/promotion for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as well as the University of Hawaii. She was also a keynote speaker at the 2020 Texas Orchestra Directors Association clinic in July.


School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA