Music names two new faculty
With the retirement of Dennis Simons, Minot Symphony Orchestra conductor, and Joe Alme, assistant music professor and band director, the MSU Division of Music launched two of the most comprehensive faculty searches in the division's history. Scott Seaton has been hired as MSO conductor, and Devin Otto will be band director.
"Both bring a wealth of energy and accomplishment to their new positions," said Ken Bowles, music division chair.
Chosen from more than 60 international orchestral conductors, Seaton is a versatile musician equally at ease with all genres. Beyond his conducting responsibilities, he will teach courses in music appreciation and world music. Seaton has conducted orchestras spanning North America, South America and Europe since his 2007 international debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. His previous civic and academic positions include music director of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra and the Kent State University Orchestra.
This October, Seaton will compete in the 2012 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, Germany, after being selected from a pool of over 400 conductors from 73 countries.
Seaton earned degrees from the Université de Montréal, the New England Conservatory, Boston, and the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.
Otto, also chosen from large number of applicants, comes to MSU from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting and repertoire. He will also teach the low brass studio for the Division of Music.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Otto served as assistant director of bands and instructor of tuba and euphonium at his alma mater, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Wash., where he directed athletic bands, symphonic band and repertory jazz ensemble and taught jazz history and applied lessons on tuba and euphonium. Otto's EWU groups achieved distinction in performances at national conferences and festivals in the Pacific Northwest. He also served as Spokane British Brass Band conductor and artistic director and taught low brass at Spokane Falls Community College.
As a clinician and consultant, Otto worked in the concert, marching and jazz band genres at schools throughout eastern Washington and northern Idaho. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Idaho and a master's degree in music education from EWU.