Southern Oregon University names new Director of Performing Arts

Talented new faculty also join SOU’s performing arts program

(Ashland, Ore.) Southern Oregon University announces the appointment of David Humphrey, PhD, as Director of Performing Arts at the university. Dr. Humphrey has more than 30 years of professional executive management and artistic production experience. Most recently he was the Director of the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco. Before that he worked at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as the Director of Education and as executive producer of a joint project between The Kennedy Center and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

“I have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities in my career to work with the very best in the performing arts and provide an impact on people from all backgrounds and ages,” says Humphrey.  “The opportunity to work with Southern Oregon University’s celebrated theatre and music programs and develop them into a prestigious, world-renowned center for the Performing Arts is indeed exciting and challenging.  In this endeavor we are fortunate to have many talented individuals teaching on the faculty and an administration that is so enthusiastically supportive of the arts.  Our students will highly benefit from the sensational plans that we are developing and the community I am sure will be delighted.  It is a joy to be living and working in beautiful Ashland.”

“We are thrilled to have a seasoned professional of the reputation, vision and experience of David Humphrey join us at SOU as the Director of Performing Arts,” says the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Alissa Arp. “With David’s style and aplomb we eagerly await the next evolution of performing arts, bringing innovative and engaging contributions to our community and campus.”

SOU’s Department of Performing Arts includes 46 full and part-time faculty, and presents scores of student music and theatre performances each year.

New faculty joining the department this fall include James Donlon who brings a four-decade career in mime, movement, dance, clowning, masks, puppetry and circus. The creator of three performing arts companies that tour internationally, Donlon says he is “anticipating sharing my work with the Ashland arts community. Ashland is a wonderfulplace to live and create.”

Jeff Richmond, recognized as a significant voice in modern jazz composition and performance education, will be teaching upper level and advanced music theory, jazz performance and trumpet performance in the SOU Department of Performing Arts. Richmond says, “I have realized a real passion for helping young players to get started on their own professional careers. This position is a great fit for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Jackie Apodaca, who joined the performing arts faculty last fall after a 20-year career in theatre, film and commercial production, is looking forward to working with another talented, new faculty member, Robert Clift, professor in the Communication Department, this fall. They will team up to develop a film and digital media program serving theatre and communication students with the intent of forming a bridge between digital media, film and theatre at SOU.

SOU’s performance season kicks off September 28 with a Gala Benefit Concert in the Music Recital Hall featuring Dr. Jeffrey Richmond, the new trumpet professor. Other performers are faculty members Alexander Tutunov, Rhett Bender, Terry Longshore, Paul French, Fredna Grimland and Cynthia Hutton.

Theatre performances begin November 1 with Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in the Center Square Theatre, guest directed by Scott Kaiser, Director of Company Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

For more information, visit sou.edu/performingarts.

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