Music Department Announces New Faculty

April 30, 2013

The UNC Charlotte Department of Music is pleased to announce the appointments of Shawn Smith to the position of Director of Bands and Jonathan Andrew Govias to the new position as Director of Orchestras.

Shawn Smith is currently Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where he conducts the Symphonic Winds and Concert Band and teaches courses in Conducting and Music Education. Smith holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from Arizona State University, and Master of Music  and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Louisiana State University and Boise State University respectively.

In high demand as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Smith has been invited to work with bands in Texas, Utah, Arizona, Louisiana, Nebraska and Idaho and internationally in Brazil. He has also presented numerous clinics, most notably at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois and at the Texas Music Educators Association's Convention.  He has also conducted numerous Texas Region Bands, and is an active adjudicator throughout the United States.

Dr. Smith has been published in the Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and in Alta Musica and has presented research on the wind music of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos at the national conferences of the College Music Society and the College Band Directors National Association. In the summer of 2012 Dr. Smith was invited to present research at an international conference in Portugal and was recently invited as a Visiting Professor and Conductor for a music festival in Brazil. He has received the Texas A&M System Teaching Excellence Award twice, has been included in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and holds honorary memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota and Kappa Kappa Psi. He also holds memberships in the Texas Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the College Music Society, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.

A distinguished conductor, author and public speaker, Jonathan Andrew Govias combines extraordinary artistic credentials with profound insight into the power of music to transform society. Appointed music director of a professional orchestra at the age of 22, he has since earned a Doctorate in orchestral conducting and performed with orchestras on four continents, including a June 2009 debut with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. His achievements on the podium have been further recognized by invitations to elite masterclasses by conductors Kurt Masur, Ivan Fischer, Gustav Meier, David Zinman and Marin Alsop.

A consummate educator, his approach to teaching, public speaking and writing –regardless of audience – is identical to his philosophy of working with young orchestras: to illuminate even the most complex of concepts, musical or otherwise in simple, experiential and surprisingly relevant ways. Since October 2010 he has given keynote addresses at highly prestigious concert venues, public symposia and academic conferences around the world, including SouthBank Centre in London, and worked with youth orchestras across the Americas and in Britain. His articles in the same time span include more than fourteen in various international print publications on social music theory and practice, including contributions to teaching and music therapy journals; the only analytical text on el Sistema specifically endorsed by Maestro José Antonio Abreu; and a contribution to Early Music on performance practice issues in the music of Brahms.

A recipient of the Priddy Fellowship in Arts Leadership, the Reinhard Mohn Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, and a member of the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows at the New England Conservatory, Dr. Govias is also a leading international consultant on organizational, strategic, entrepreneurial and pedagogical practices for social music initiatives, with an emphasis on programs inspired by Venezuela’s el Sistema. His international leadership experience, in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, combined with his outstanding academic credentials enables him to provide expert, highly-informed guidance to organizations around the world with great cultural sensitivity.