Sounding high notes:
New director champions music school’s potential
In June 2011, the University of Denver named Nancy Cochran director of the Lamont School of Music.
Question: What was your experience prior to being named director?
Answer: I have enjoyed a career as a performer, teacher and administrator. I loved the performance phase of my life, as I was able to travel to Asia, Russia and Europe many times to present guest master classes, judge competitions and perform as soloist. Most recently, I was a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Meadow School of the Arts, as well as director of the university’s chamber music program and coordinator of the applied studies and performance program.
Prior to that, I served as director of the School of Music at Texas Tech University, and before that, I chaired the instrumental studies division at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where I served as professor of horn.
Q: What aspects of your new job are particularly appealing?
A: I’m very excited by the University of Denver’s desire to have the Lamont director establish external ties, have a donor-cultivation role and help the school become better known nationally. The fact that my ongoing involvement with the National Association of Schools of Music will help me champion Lamont to the rest of the country is very appealing.
I look forward to major community involvement as well. I’m thrilled both by potential opportunities to partner with the Colorado Symphony and Opera Colorado and by DU’s location in such a diverse, metropolitan city with a strong interest in jazz. I believe it’s important for students to experience multiculturalism, and Denver has that.
Most important, perhaps, is the fact that Lamont is poised for the next step in excellence. The school has a fabulous, stunning building. With the Lamont Society in place as a very impressive support group and an outstanding faculty and staff, I am confident we have a solid framework with which to take the school to the next level.
Q: Do you anticipate much student interaction in your new role?
A: Staying connected with students is a priority for me. I want to take time to meet with students, drop in on their rehearsals and attend their concerts. I intend to make a concerted effort to maintain contact with students and not get so involved in the paperwork and the management aspects of the job that I lose touch with those who attend DU to learn and blossom. They are the reason we are here.