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Brendan McConville

Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Music/Theory Composition
Hired: 2007

University of Tennessee
School of Music
243 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
Knoxville, TN 37996-4040
Phone: 865-974-7546
Music Theory/Composition Website

Brendan McConville is Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Arts &aamp; Sciences. He was previously Director for Undergraduate Studies and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition in the School of Music. He also co-directs the University of Tennessee study abroad program in Bologna, Italy. He holds a PhD in Music Theory & Composition from Rutgers University and completed undergraduate training at Peabody Conservatory and the Johns Hopkins University.

As a music theorist, his areas of research include twentieth-century music analysis and the use of emerging technologies in music theory pedagogy. His writings appear in a variety of scholarly journals including Theory and Practice, The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, College Music Symposium, Perspectives of New Music, and Tempo, and he is co-author of Music Theory Foundations: an Interactive eBook (with Barbara Murphy). He serves as Editor for Technology/Online Resource Reviews for the College Music Symposium. He has co-developed mobile music theory applications for iOS and Android devices, and he is an active presenter of his research involving the use of relevant and mobile technologies in the classroom. These technologies have included social media and Web tools, Google applications, podcasts, collaborative and peer-review platforms, and online music sharing programs. He is an active presenter and member of the College Music Society (CMS), the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), and the Society for Music Theory (SMT) organizations. He currently serves as Treasurer for ATMI.

As a composer, he recently completed an affiliated fellowship at the American Academy of Rome (2022) where he wrote a new song cycle for collaborators in Italy. In 2016 he was awarded a Fulbright to Italy to compose a new vocal chamber work setting Gabriele D’Annuzio’s famous poem, “La Pioggia nel Pineto.” The work was released in 2018 on the award-winning album Un D’Annunzio Nuovo, which can be found on all major music distribution sites (Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, etc.). To build the work, he recorded the natural sounds of the Italian countryside – where D’Annunzio wrote the poem over 100 years ago – and put them into a background canvas for the vocal chamber piece. The sounds of the environment in the poem (e.g. cicadas, waves, rain, birds, frogs, etc.), presented both naturally and manipulated through computer software, create the sonic landscape for the performers. His music has been recognized by The American Prize in music composition and he has won three Global Music Awards. His music is available on the labels Wide Classique, ERMmedia, DaVinci, and Navona, and has published with BRS Music. His works have been commissioned, performed, televised, and recorded in the United States and in Europe.

As Director for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Music, he was actively involved in updating and enhancing curricular designs as well as improving student retention, mental health, advising, and tutoring services. He has worked closely with colleagues in the School of Music, the Haslam College of Business, and the College of Communication & Information to assist in building creative interdisciplinary programs, and he is currently working with administrators at Pellissippi State Community College to build a new articulation agreement in music. Since entering administration he has been active in the National Association of Music Executives in State Universities (NAMESU) and National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) organizations.


  • Ph.D. Theory/Composition - Rutgers University (2007)
  • M.A. Theory/Composition - Rutgers University (2005)
  • B.A. Music - Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Institute of Music (2000)

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