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August 09, 2012

Denis Colwell Named Head of the School of Music

ColwellDenis Colwell, associate professor of music, has been named the new head of the School of Music, effective August 2012. Colwell has served as interim head since October 2011; he has been a faculty member since 1992, teaching instrumental conducting and directing the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. He was assistant head of the School of Music from 1987 through 1994.

"Denis has done a superb job as interim head this past academic year, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity of his continued leadership of the school," said Dan J. Martin, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "He has the skills and vision to guide the School of Music in the exciting and challenging years ahead."

Colwell served as music director of the River City Brass Band for 15 seasons, leading more than 1,300 concerts in major U.S. concert halls. Prior to taking leadership of the band, Colwell was assistant principal solo cornet in that organization for 10 seasons.

A talented musician, Colwell's CD recording with the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, "Carnegie Mellon Composers," was hailed as "... one of the best band recordings in recent years ..." by American Record Guide. His recordings with The River City Brass Band include "Big Band Brass," "Heartland," "All American and Polished Brass" and "Christmas!" On April 28, 2009, the City of Pittsburgh proclaimed "Denis Colwell Day" in recognition of his accomplishments and raising the visibility of Pittsburgh through his work with the River City Brass Band.