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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 7, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 29
Peabody Names Mellasenah Morris Conservatory Dean/Deputy Director

Mellasenah Morris

By Margaret Bell
Peabody Institute

Mellasenah Morris, a Peabody alumna and former assistant dean for academic affairs at the school, has been appointed dean of the conservatory/deputy director of the Peabody Institute.

Morris, a professor of piano and director of the School of Music at The Ohio State University, will succeed Wolfgang Justen on July 1. Justen retires this year after serving as the dean of the conservatory since 2002. He will continue teaching on a part-time basis.

"I am confident that Dr. Morris has the experience — both musical and administrative — and the wisdom to work with all of us in leading the conservatory through its challenges and to embrace the exciting opportunities in our future," said Peabody Director Jeffrey Sharkey. "I believe her love for Peabody, combined with extensive experience outside of it, will make her uniquely suited to the role of dean and deputy director."

Morris holds bachelor and doctoral degrees from Peabody, where she was a student of Julio Esteban; had master classes with Leon Fleisher, Irvin Freundlich, Fernando Laires and David Burge; and had coaching with Ann Schein. She is an active recitalist, solo artist, chamber music performer, lecturer and adjudicator.

"I am thrilled to have an opportunity to return to the institution in which I was privileged to study and grow musically, intellectually and personally," Morris said. "Peabody prepared me for the career that I have enjoyed thus far as a performer, educator and music executive. It is amazing for my life to come full circle as I embark upon new, exciting experiences at this great place."

Morris made her New York debut recital in Carnegie Recital Hall and has served on the faculty at Baltimore City College, Villa Julie College and the Peabody Conservatory.

Her previous administrative positions include dean of the School of Music at Alabama State University and director of the School of Music at James Madison University, where she also was professor of piano. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honorary society, and serves on the executive committee and executive board of the National Association of Schools of Music in the position of treasurer.


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