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Loyola University New Orleans Honors Professor of Music William Horne with 2015 Dux Academicus Award

Loyola press release - January 22, 2016

Loyola University New Orleans today presented a top academic award to internationally recognized Brahms scholar and Professor of Music William “Bill” Horne, Ph.D., who has taught at the university for four decades. Horne received the university’s 2015 Dux Academicus Award from Loyola president, the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J. at Spring Convocation on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Horne has taught at Loyola since 1976 and celebrates 40 years of service to the university this year.

Horne was honored at convocation by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Marc Manganaro for having achieved and sustained the highest levels of excellence as a scholar, educator, and contributor to community and professional service. Nominated by colleagues, students and former students, Horne’s work as a composer, musician, teacher, adviser, scholar and member of the university community has earned him the high regard and respect of his students and colleagues.

In his remarks, the provost noted that Horne is “a rare musician distinguished both as a scholar and as a composer,” who has composed more than 100 original keyboard, solo instrumental and chamber instrumental works, including an entire concert solely devoted to his work as a composer at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where students continue to perform and record his compositions. Especially cherished at Loyola are works he composed for colleagues and a choral Te Deum performed during celebrations of Loyola's 100th anniversary.

Horne has also published 13 scholarly articles and reviews, as well as six manuals on music theory and composition now used to teach undergraduates in the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola, where also prepares students for graduate school and a for a Master of Music degree.

“It takes a master musician and teacher to communicate these ideas so clearly,” said Janna Saslaw, associate professor of music and theory at Loyola. “Dr. Horne is himself an extremely talented composer and scholar, talents that do not go unnoticed by his students. In creative fields, especially, a professor’s output must inspire students in order to produce a successful relationship ― Dr. Horne’s do so tremendously.”

During his tenure at Loyola, Horne has also conducted extensive research on the German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms and shared that work widely both within and beyond the Loyola community. Horne has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society since 2001; served as editor or co-editor of the Society’s semi-annual newsletter since 2002; and published numerous articles and essays on the composer and his works.

“He is not only an exceptional mentor and teacher, but also a master in music composition,” Manganaro said. “He always has an open door to answer questions big and small, and, has in many cases continued to serve as a mentor even to those that have advanced from Loyola.”

Former students praised Horne’s character, musical abilities, careful ear and commitment to excellence, adding that he lived St. Ignatius of Loyola’s belief of “finding God in all things.” They cited his unique abilities in teaching and inspiring students to a respect for music history, musical styles, genres, general historical trends, the development of musical forms and compositional devices throughout history, while also teaching them to compose and elevate the levels at which they perform.

“He is a living example of an outstanding mentor who is not only expert in his field, but has, by his example, inspired his students and colleagues over many years,” wrote a former student who cited Horne as the most dedicated and conscientious teacher he’s ever known. “His erudition, genius, and love of teaching sets the highest possible standard for Loyola University faculty.”

Another student stated that Horne is “the kind of teacher who challenges you to work towards goals you didn’t even know you wanted to achieve,” while an alumnus said that Horne’s “investment in students creates an environment in which creativity and critical thinking are of equal importance, enabling the creativity, skills, and theoretical knowledge necessary for a composer to develop in perfect unity. His work at Loyola perfectly embodies the Jesuit ideal of educating the whole person.”

In addition to being extraordinary in his field and mentorship, Horne is also well respected by his peers, Manganaro said. He has been elected and re-elected to several committees as often as he qualified for rotating terms, a clear sign of the respect he has gained among his colleagues for his honesty, transparency, and collegiality.

Horne received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano and Composition from Florida State University in 1974; a Master of Music in Composition from Yale University in 1976; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of North Texas in 1983. He has served as a Professor of Theory and Composition at Loyola since 1976. Horne has also served as an organist for Christ Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church of Covington, as well as organist and choir director of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of New Orleans.