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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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Fay Adams, associate professor of piano and coordinator of keyboard studies in the School of Music, has been named music teacher of the year by the Music Teacher National Association, the preeminent professional society for music teachers.

Dawnie Steadman, director of UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center, will be featured in National Geographic’s Faces of Death show, which airs 8:00 p.m., Sunday, April 3, on the National Geographic Channel.

Suzanne Lenhart, NIMBioS associate director for education and outreach, has been named a James R. Cox Professor at UT Knoxville.


Fulbright Scholars this academic year—J. Patrick Biddix, Joseph Bozell, Brad Collett, and Brendan McConville.

The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international exchange initiative that awards about 1,100 grants to American scholars each year.

Funded by the US government, Fulbright Scholars are chosen based on their leadership and academic merits and their abilities to teach, conduct research, and contribute to solutions for shared international concerns.

Continue reading at tntoday.utk.edu.