Two New Faculty Members Join Department of Music
The Department of Music is pleased to welcome two new faculty members — Katey J. Halbert and Jessica Vansteenburg — to the U of A.
Hornist Katey J. Halbert's vibrant personality and passion for music inspire both as a teacher and performer. A new resident to Northwest Arkansas, Halbert will be the visiting assistant professor of horn starting this fall. Her career over the last decade has been highlighted by numerous unique and engaging musical experiences she hopes to share with her students.
As a performer, she has been a featured soloist at numerous festivals and conferences, many of whom have focused on representation of women in music, such as the International Women's Brass Conference and the Women Composer's Festival at Hartford. As a chamber musician she has been a member of the nonprofit organization The Wild Prairie Winds for the last four years, working towards goals such as prairie conservation awareness and accessible music education. Her love for music continues year-round as she spends her summers teaching at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, performing with Blue Lake's faculty wind and brass quintets as well as the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Her devotion to teaching and performing is outshined only by her love for her husband and their furry family of five.
"I cannot begin to express my excitement regarding my new position at the University of Arkansas," Halbert said. "Not only am I thrilled to be working alongside such a distinguished faculty, but I am also excited to teach and connect with the fabulous and dedicated students of the Arkansas music community. I hope to continue my work as an advocate for greater representation of underrepresented musicians, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and research with my students, colleagues and Arkansas!"
Lia Uribe, associate chair of the Department of Music, said, "We are very excited to welcome Dr. Halbert to the music department. She brings a unique vision for diversity, equity and inclusion demonstrated in her extensive research and commitment to the music of underrepresented composers, especially women. Also, I can't wait to share with her the work of our faculty ensemble in residency, the Lyrique Quintette, and to add her voice to our ongoing projects."
Jessica Vansteenburg also joins the faculty this fall as instructor of musicology. Vansteenburg, a specialist in the Hungarian-speaking musical community, brings expertise on a variety of popular and vernacular traditions as well as an active career as a clarinetist.
"I am looking forward to sharing music and my experience with U of A students and collaborating with colleagues in the music department," Vansteenburg said. "Arkansas will be a new state for me, and I'm eager to get to know the Fayetteville community. I will be trading the Rockies for the Ozarks and can't wait to explore the trails with my dachshund, Axel!"
Vansteenburg previously taught at Luther College, Salem State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her current research project is a multi-site ethnography of Hungarian music festivals in Transylvania. As a clarinetist, Vansteenburg has appeared in orchestral, musical theater, chamber music and solo settings throughout the U.S. and internationally. She also has danced throughout the Denver area with Flamenco Fantasy Theater. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a D.M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a M.M. in clarinet from Ohio University and a B.A. in music and English from Luther College.
This fall, she will be teaching Popular Music (MLIT 1333) and Honors Experiencing Music (MLIT 1003H). Both courses are now open for enrollment.
"Dr. Vansteenburg brings a wealth of experience to our department. These courses are a crucial gateway to our department, and we're excited to continue to diversify and expand our offerings for the whole University of Arkansas community," said Micaela Baranello, musicology division head.
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