New School of Music director arrives

Dr. Susan Tusing, director of the School of Music, said she is acclimating to her role at Marshall University since joining the family in July.

Tusing, who performs as a solo and collaborative pianist, came to Marshall from Clayton State University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

“My previous position was on a largely commuter campus. There wasn’t a particularly strong “town-gown” connection,” Tusing said. “I appreciate the level of Marshall University support and pride that I see both on and off campus.”

Prior to Clayton State, her previous faculty appointments included Andrew College in Georgia, where she served as coordinator of the Fine Arts Division; Texas A & M University in Kingsville, and the State University of New York in Plattsburgh.

Tusing said she began playing the piano in the fourth grade, later than most professional pianists.

“Because I grew up in a very small community with few musical opportunities and there were no other musicians in my family, music lessons were not really on my family’s radar,” she said. “When many of my friends started taking piano lessons, I started pleading my case with my parents to start myself.  Unlike my friends, or, for that matter, many children starting music lessons, playing the piano was solely my idea.”

Tusing holds three degrees in piano performance: a Bachelor of Music from Arkansas State University, a Master of Music from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Louisiana State University.

She has served in numerous state-level leadership and program planning roles in music education associations, and she was project director for a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad to Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Tusing is a member of Phi Kappa Phi (academic honor society), Pi Kappa Lambda (national music honor society), Sigma Alpha Iota (international music fraternity for women), and Music Teachers National Association.

Tusing replaces Dr. Wendell Dobbs, who served as interim director last academic year.

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