Kristina MacMullen, D.M.A., Appointed Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Music and Director of Choral Activities

MacMullen brings vision of audience engagement, development of community and continued choral excellence to Baylor School of Music

March 16, 2023
Kristina MacMullen

Kristina MacMullen, D.M.A., has been appointed as The Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Music and director of choral activities. MacMullen comes to Baylor from the University of North Texas.

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WACO, Texas (March 16, 2023) – Baylor University announced today the appointment of Kristina MacMullen, D.M.A., as The Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Music and director of choral activities. MacMullen comes to Baylor from the University of North Texas.

MacMullen holds a B.M.E. and M.M. from Michigan State University and a D.M.A. from Texas Tech University. She also earned the Sir William Osler Award for Humanism in Medicine for her interdisciplinary work while serving for eight years on the faculty at The Ohio State University.

“I was drawn to Baylor for its unique positionality in integrating spiritual, intellectual and artistic life,” MacMullen said. “The intersection of both the tangible and intangible—the lasting and the temporal—resonates deeply with me. Certainly, the important legacy of Baylor’s choral program drew me to the position. I believe that we all desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves. As an observer of the Baylor family, I have noted the immense pride and commitment of Baylor’s alumni. It reflects the fabric of an institution that changes lives.”

She also noted the uniqueness of this particular moment in the story of choral arts at Baylor as the School of Music also searches for an assistant professor of choral music and lecturer in choral music.

“The 2023-2024 academic school year will bring three new choral conductors to the landscape of Baylor, and the opportunity to share in building a team is unprecedented,” MacMullen said. “Personally, the fusion of music and greater meaning inspires my work. It is my hope that the choral ensembles of Baylor fully embrace their roles as outward facing members of the School of Music, engaging in important work beyond the campus. In doing so, I look forward to cultivating meaningful partnerships within the School of Music and the wider University community.”

Positioning Baylor’s Christian environment as a cornerstone in how the study and performance of music is informed, MacMullen believes people were designed to create with purpose, spirit and intention.

“I continually seek to answer a series of questions: How do eternal truths inform the pursuit of our understanding of structure, form, daily life and relationships? How do ancient principles such as reconciliation, hope and love guide the ethos of our work? How do we navigate both the beauty and hardship of human life? For the entirety of my career, these questions have driven my practice. I am eager to continue the explication of these concepts with the students and faculty of Baylor.”

“Kristina MacMullen is a musician of immense musical and personal integrity and her experiences, to this point in her career, have brought her to the point where she is ready to assume the leadership of the Baylor University School of Music Choral Program as director of choral activities,” said Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., dean of the Baylor School of Music. “I have great confidence that Dr. MacMullen will take the program to new heights of excellence. The School of Music students, faculty and staff could not be more excited to welcome her into the Baylor family. We look forward to walking together with her in the work of coordinating the activities of the 300-plus students among our various choirs.”

MacMullen succeeds Lynne Gackle, Ph.D., who announced her retirement effective in July after serving, with distinction, as the director of choral activities since 2016.

“Early in my career, I was deeply impacted by the work of Dr. Gackle,” MacMullen said. “The choral community of the United States has been shaped and inspired by her work. To serve and lead within this legacy is a tremendous honor for which I am truly grateful. It is a joy to share in the visioning of the bright future of the Choral Arts at Baylor University.”


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Celebrating more than 100 years of musical excellence, the Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. Baylor’s School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit the School of Music website to learn more.