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Music Grad Student Wins Research Award to Have KSO Play His Compositions

Assistant Professor Andrew Sigler works with graduate student Dennis Belisle.

At 46, in the midst of a successful career as a commercial musician, music director, teacher, and performer, Dennis Belisle decided to enroll in UT’s School of Music to pursue a new dream—being a composer.

He completed a bachelor’s degree in sacred music in spring 2018 and immediately began working on his Master of Music degree in composition degree with a theory pedagogy certificate.

Belisle graduates in December, and he’s wrapping up his studies on a very high note: members of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will perform his musical compositions during a special concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at the Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.

Belisle received the inaugural Robert W. Pedersen Memorial Research Award to fund the performance. Pedersen, a UT alumnus, left money to the university in an endowment earmarked “for awards for outstanding performance by students and/or faculty.”

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erin.chapin@utk.edu).

  • Two members of the AgResearch leadership team were recently honored at the annual Research Center Administrators Society (RCAS) meeting in Mobile, Alabama. Barry Sims, associate director of UT AgResearch, was recognized for completing his term as president of RCAS. Walt Hitch, center director for the Plateau AgResearch and Education Center, received the Distinguished Service Aweard, given annually to one member who has made outstanding contributions to the society over an extended period of time.

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