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Memoir

Jerry O. Blackstone
Regents' Proceedings 439

Jerry 0. Blackstone, D.M.A., professor of music (conducting) in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2018.

Professor Blackstone received his B.M. (1974) degree from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, his M.M. (1975) degree from Indiana University, and his D.M.A. (1986) degree from the University of Southern California. He served on the music faculties of Phillips University, Westmont College, and Huntington College. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1988, and was promoted to associate professor in 1995, and professor in 2006.

As director of choirs, Professor Blackstone conducted the university's Chamber Choir and administered a choral program of eleven choirs. He is one of the nation's most recognized and acclaimed choral clinicians, guest conductors, and conducting teachers. In February 2006, he received two Grammy Awards, "Best Choral Performance" and "Best Classical Album," as the chorus master for the Naxos recording of William Bolcom' s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The Chamber Choir, conducted by Professor Blackstone, performed by special invitation at the inaugural convention in San Antonio of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and presented three enthusiastically received performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. He served as coordinator and then chair of the renowned Department of Conducting for more than 25 years. As conductor of the Men's Glee Club from 1988-2002, Professor Blackstone led the ensemble on tours throughout the U.S., Eastern and Central Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. His leadership of the UM All-State Program at Interlochen and the MI Youth Ensembles Program led to the founding of MPulse Ann Arbor, an extensive summer arts program for high school students that flourishes at SMTD. From 2003-15, Professor Blackstone served as the conductor and music director of the University Musical Society Choral Union, a large community/university chorus that frequently appears with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Symphony.

The Regents now salute this eminent artist and exemplary teacher by naming Jerry 0. Blackstone, professor emeritus of music (conducting).