MACON - Mercer University Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis has announced the appointment of Dr. C. David Keith, professor of music and director of graduate studies, as the new dean of the Townsend School of Music, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Dr. Keith, who has served as interim dean since July 1, 2012, succeeds Dr. John H. Dickson, who stepped down at the end of the 2011-12 academic year to accept the position of director of choral studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
“I commend the search committee on its good work in recommending David Keith as dean of the Townsend School of Music,” Dr. Davis said. “Having served as both a top-rate program director and interim dean at Mercer, David brings both unique insight and perspective to this important leadership role.”
Appointed as director of Mercer’s Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music on Aug. 1, 2010, Dr. Keith for 27 years served as professor of conducting and church music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music. Immediately prior to joining the Mercer music faculty, he served as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.
“I am very honored to be named to this position,” Dr. Keith said. “We have an excellent school with talented students who are seeking to learn more about their chosen field and are being equipped with music and life skills by an outstanding group of dedicated and committed faculty members. Stellar ensembles, a unique center for strings, exceptional faculty, excellent facilities, and the tremendous support of the administration makes this an exciting time to lead the School of Music.”
“I look forward to working with David Keith as he leads the Townsend School of Music,” Mercer President William D. Underwood said. “In a relatively short period of time at Mercer he has earned the respect of faculty, students, alumni and friends of the music school. He enjoys an excellent reputation nationally, and I am confident that Townsend will prosper under his leadership.”
Dr. Keith received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to serving as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church, Dr. Keith has also worked as an adjunct professor of music at Belmont University, chorus director for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and director of choral activities at Howard Payne University.
Dr. Stanley L. Roberts, associate dean and the Arthur Lowndes Rich Professor of Choral Conducting, chaired the search committee, which included Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and holder of the Caroline Paul King Chair in Violin; Dr. Carol S. Goff, Helen Wall Rich Professor of Keyboard Performance, chair of keyboard studies and coordinator of the collaborative piano program; Elizabeth Pridgen, assistant professor of music and holder of the G. Leslie Fabian Chair; and Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music, director of instrumental ensembles, director of undergraduate studies and coordinator of the music education program.