Peter Alexander


CVPA - Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts

220 Music Building


Peter Alexander received his Bachelor of Music Degree with honors and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. During his undergraduate years, he taught clarinet for the Rochester Board of Education and at the Hochstein Community Music School. After graduation he was offered a teaching assistantship at the University of Wisconsin and received his Master of Music Degree there. He attended Columbia University Teacher's College where he earned his Ed.D degree in music performance and college teaching. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard University and also studied at the University of Oslo.

Dr. Alexander's first university appointment was at State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY) where he taught a wide variety of courses in music performance, history and theory. He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and became chair of the Department of Music. As a department head he organized a number of festivals and conferences such as the SUNY Women in Music Festival, and the Expressionist Arts Festival in conjunction with Bard College. These events were funded through grants garnered from the New York State Council on Arts, the New York Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and many others. Alexander became the dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at SUNY at New Paltz in 1988 where he also directed the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival and the annual National Dance Institute Residency program.

For three decades, Alexander was the principal clarinetist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He directed the New York State Council on the Arts funded Hudson Valley Woodwind Quintet. On average he performed 50-80 concerts per year playing in symphonic, operatic, chamber and new music settings. He worked closely with a number of prominent living composers who wrote new works for him to premiere and record. He recorded for Composer Recordings Inc., Albany Records, Soundspells, IBM Multimedia and other labels.

Peter Alexander became dean of The School of the Arts at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in 1996 forming the Partners for the Arts, initiating the Connoisseur Performing Arts and Lecture Series and the USM Community Arts School. He was appointed dean of the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University in 2001. At Butler he created the Leadership Through The Arts Lecture Series, the Butler Community Arts School, new international programs, and new degree programs in design, jazz studies, recording industries studies, and musical theatre. He was appointed Dean of University of North Carolina College of Visual and Performing Arts in spring, 2013.