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Dr. Jeffrey PappasJeffrey Pappas

Director of the School of Music
Hired: 2012

University of Tennessee
School of Music
117K Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
Knoxville, TN 37996-4040
Phone: 865-974-3241 (main office)

Jeffrey Pappas holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Northern Kentucky University, a Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. His conducting teachers have included William Hatcher, Don Moses, Chester Alwes and James Dixon.

He is currently a professor of music and the Director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee. Prior to this appointment, he was the Chair of the Department of Music at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and the Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Ensembles and Conducting at Ball State University where he conducted the Chamber Choir, taught upper-level undergraduate conducting, masters and doctoral level choral literature and conducting, and administrated the choral area.  He has also served as the Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi State University and at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa and on the music faculty at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.

His choirs have performed throughout the Midwest, in Southern California, Colorado, Atlanta and New Orleans, (over 18 states total) and as the conductor of the Clarke Collegiate Singers were enthusiastically received during a concert tour of Ireland in 1993. In 1996 they toured the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany where they were one of only two non-Austrian choirs invited to sing in the famed Salzburg Domkirche that year.  In May 2003, he conducted the Mississippi State University Chamber Singers in a concert tour of France and Italy that included invited appearances at the Cathedrals of Nice and Monaco.  Reviews of these performances hailed the Chamber Singers as an "ensemble of exceptional level that presented an a cappella concert the audience will not soon forget" and further stated that "the Chamber Singers…possess an impressive cohesion and musicality without exception, and throughout the concert the ensemble unfolded a thread of silky, shimmering sound that delighted and left the audience totally under the spell of these effective ambassadors of the American musical cause.  The Ball State University Chamber Choir was an invited ensemble at the 2006 Indiana Music Educators Conference and at the Regional Music Educators Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in November 2006.  In May 2007, he conducted members of the BSU Chamber and Concert Choirs in a concert tour of Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic, which included performances at the Stephansdom, St. Vitas Cathedral and Elte University.

He has also been active in church music having led ministries at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church (Huntington, WV), First Methodist Church (Columbus, MS), Roberts Park Methodist Church (Indianapolis, IN) and High Street Methodist Church (Muncie, IN). 

Pappas has presented at the International Vocal Symposium in St. John's Newfoundland on three occasions, and is frequently called on to be a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator at choral festivals, workshops, and competitions.  In 2003, he guest conducted the Mississippi All-State Choir and in February 2007 returned to conduct the Kenai Alaska Choral festival.  In 2009, he conducted a high school honor choir in Maryland and a community college choral festival in Chicago, IL.  He has also conducted the annual Messiah performance by the Columbus (MS) Chorus and Orchestra on numerous occasions.

A proponent of all styles of music, Pappas is particularly proud of the new works he has commissioned and/or conducted.  In 2005, the Ball State Chamber Choir began a commissioning project entitled First Hearing.  Joseph Harchanko's Visions was the first work in this series.  Jody Nagel's I stood musing in a black world was premiered in 2006.

He has also been active in the American Choral Directors Association, serving as Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for 4-Year Colleges and Universities in Iowa and Mississippi, Membership Chair and President-Elect in Mississippi, the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music and Worship for the Indiana Choral Directors Association and the Membership Chair for the Central Division.

As a tenor soloist, his concert and/or opera performances have included Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Massenet's Herodiade, Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Stravinsky's Les Noces.

He is joined in Knoxville by his wife, Joni, daughter, Amara and son, Case.

  • D.M.A. in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy - University of Iowa (1997)
  • M.M. in Choral Conducting - University of Illinois (1988)
  • B.M. in Vocal Performance - Northern Kentucky University (1986)

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