Peter Witte has been named the next dean of the Conservatory of Music.

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Pacific names ‘visionary’ next conservatory dean

Feb 22, 2017

University of the Pacific today announced that Peter Witte will be the next dean of the Conservatory of Music.

Witte, dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at University of Missouri-Kansas City since 2008, begins his appointment July 1. Pacific's conservatory, founded in 1878, was the first in the Western United States.

"We're very excited that Peter will be joining us here at Pacific," said Maria Pallavicini, Pacific's provost and chief academic officer. "He's a dynamic and visionary leader who brings a strong track record of accomplishments and we're looking forward to him continuing those accomplishments here."

The UMKC conservatory hit its $48 million fundraising goal - the largest in the university's history for a single project - for a $96 million downtown Kansas City arts campus for the university while Witte was dean.

Witte also launched a new process for reviewing student applications that resulted in a 45 percent increase in enrollment of students of color and international students. The number of degrees awarded and undergraduate retention rate both increased while Witte was dean at UMKC. He also guided the conservatory as it established partnerships with local music and arts organizations.

He recognizes the chance to achieve similar accomplishments at Pacific.

"This is a wonderful opportunity and I feel so fortunate," Witte said. "The conservatory's history and tradition, excellent faculty, talented students, and obvious connection to the community make me confident that we can continue to do great things at Pacific."

Witte has conducted performances in Carnegie Hall with the National Wind Ensemble and the Atlanta Wind Symphony, for which he was the music director for seven years. He was also an orchestral horn player for the Atlanta Opera, Toledo Symphony, Windsor Symphony, and at summer festivals in Grand Tetons and Graz, Austria.

Before becoming dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at University of Missouri-Kansas City, Witte was the chair of the Department of Music at Kennesaw State University for nine years after being assistant chair. He began his music education career at Gettysburg College before moving onto Kennesaw State University in 1997.

He holds bachelor's and master's of music degrees in horn performance, and a master's of music degree in conducting, all from the University of Michigan.

Media contact:
Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) | kmichaud@pacific.edu

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