Appointment of Professor Gage Averill Dean Faculty of Music

PDAD&C #35


Faculty, Staff and Students, Faculty of Music
From: Professor Vivek Goel
Interim Vice-President and Provost
Date: April 8, 2004

Appointment of Professor Gage Averill, Dean, Faculty of Music

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Gage Averill as Dean of the Faculty of Music for a seven year term, from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2011.

Professor Averill is currently the Chair of the Department of Music at New York University.  He received his BA [Music] Magna Cum Laude and a PhD in Music [Ethnomusicology] from the University of Washington.  His dissertation was entitled “Haitian Dance Band Music: The Political Economy of Exuberance”.

Professor Averill was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University Music Department in 1989-1990.  From 1990-1996 he was an Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University, Music Department and Associate Professor from 1996-1997.  From 1997-2001 he was an Associate Professor at New York University, Department of Music.  In fall 2000 he served as Acting Chair of the Music Department at NYU.  He became a full Professor, as well as Chair of the Music Department, in 2001.  In the spring of 2001 he was also a Visiting Professor, Princeton University, Latin American Studies & Music.

Professor Averill’s research has focused on the ideological context of music production, with special attention to the role that music and expressive culture play in social transformation.  His major projects have explored Haitian popular music and power, North American barbershop harmony and questions of race and nostalgia, globalizing culture industries, and Trinidadian steelbands.

His most recent publications have been on issues of educational policy, including applied ethnomusicology and the role of public intellectuals, the role of world music ensembles in teaching ethnomusicology, and attempts at a universally applicable metrics for music and dance by Alan Lomax.  His book, Four Parts, No Waiting: A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony (Oxford University Press, 2003) was named an “Outstanding Academic Title for 2004” by Choice, the review magazine of the American Library Association.  In 1998, A Day For the Hunter, A Day For the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti (University of Chicago Press, 1997) received the “Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research – Best Research in the Field of Recorded Folk and Ethnic Music” from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections.

Professor Averill also has extensive experience in university administration.  In addition to his role as Chair, Professor Averill has been an active university citizen at NYU.  He has been working with NYU’s Development Committee on a comprehensive fundraising plan, the first of its kind for an Arts and Science department.  He has also been an active member of several University policy-setting committees, including Health Benefits, Faculty of Arts and Science Promotion and Tenure, and the Provost’s Music and Music Theater Task Force which is charged with reconfiguring music programs at NYU.

Professor Averill brings a strong record of commitment and action on issues of diversity, community outreach and public service, interdisciplinarity and curricular reform.  In particular, under his leadership the Department of Music at NYU has undergone a revival with the recruitment of new faculty members who are leaders in their fields and who have brought diversity to the department.