Sanders Appointed Dean of Baylor School of Music

Kevin Sanders joins Baylor from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis

December 4, 2023
Dr. Kevin Sanders who will serve as dean of the Baylor School of Music beginning July 1, 2024

Kevin Sanders, D.M.A., has been selected as dean of the Baylor University School of Music, beginning July 1, 2024.

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
Follow us on X (Twitter): @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Dec. 4, 2023) – Following a nationwide search, Baylor University Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., announced today that Kevin Sanders, D.M.A., director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis, has been selected as dean of the Baylor University School of Music. His appointment is effective July 1, 2024.

Joining Baylor from UofM, an urban, public Research 1 university, Sanders oversees Scheidt School of Music’s comprehensive program that produces 300 events per year with over 80 faculty and staff, more than 400 students and a satellite campus in Jackson, Tennessee. The School offers the only doctoral music program in Tennessee and is housed in the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

"I am delighted that Dr. Sanders will be joining Baylor as Dean of the School of Music,” Provost Brickhouse said. “I am impressed with his innovative thinking and his accomplishments at the University of Memphis. I have no doubt that we will all benefit from his creative, interdisciplinary ideas. He is an accomplished leader and a talented musician who is drawn to Baylor by our dual commitment to faith and renowned music performance programs."

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to contribute to the Baylor School of Music’s continued success as its next dean,” Sanders said. “The School’s reputation and prestige is 100 years strong, which continues to grow thanks to the remarkably talented faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters who make this a dynamic place. I am excited to work together on new priorities and ambitions, strengthen ties to the campus, community and creative industry, and design the next generation of innovative programming to enhance the School’s profile and success.”

As director since January 2020, Sanders led the Scheidt School of Music through a transformational time with the planning, construction and grand opening of the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, a $40 million, 82,000-square-foot facility featuring state-of-the-art recording studios, large rehearsal spaces and a 900-seat concert hall. Under his leadership, the School moved forward in several areas, including a substantial increase in the diversity of faculty, the founding of the School of Music alumni chapter, the launch of the School’s annual Blue Note magazine and a broad expansion of the School’s marketing and communications team. Sanders also served as the catalyst for new academic programs, including an undergraduate music therapy major, and focused the School on modernizing the undergraduate curriculum and leveraging campus and community partnerships to provide professional opportunities for students.

In addition, Sanders established new initiatives to expand access to music education in the community and enhance the student experience, including the Scheidt Music Extension, an after-school and evening program that allowed the School to provide educational opportunities for music enthusiasts of all ages. Summer programming also expanded to include adult classes and camps for elementary and popular music, which led to significant enrollment growth in its first year. Sanders also established the School's Student Success Center, a centralized office for students to receive professional advising, career services and improved access to university resources.

A classically trained musician and former tubist, Sanders’ scholarly musical interests concentrate on pedagogy. His work includes eight recordings and dozens of publications, commissions and presentations given around the globe, including in the U.K., China, Brazil, Australia and Costa Rica. He has performed on five continents with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Macau Orchestra in China and the Melbourne Symphony in Australia. He also has performed as a soloist with the United States Army Orchestra in Washington, D.C. His students have been highly successful in national and international auditions, competitions and summer festivals and hold teaching and performance positions across the U.S.

Previously, Sanders served the University of Memphis as the Dean’s Fellow for Research Development, where he created cross-campus initiatives that supported research and creative activity in the arts, and as the Associate Director for Graduate Studies and Professor of Tuba and Euphonium. Prior to that, he taught at the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam and the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Outside the university, Sanders is active as a keynote speaker, represented by APB Speakers Bureau, and a coach and consultant for faculty and academic leaders.

Sanders graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, a Master of Music from the Juilliard School and his Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. He holds certifications in Design Thinking and Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University, in addition to continuing education from Harvard University.

Provost Brickhouse also thanked the 10-member Dean search committee for their valuable time and service during this successful nationwide search process: Douglas Henry (chair), Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kelly Jo Hollingsworth, Ian Gravagne, Jenny LaPoint, Timothy “Tim” McKinney, Maria Monteiro, Wiff Rudd Jr., DeAnna Toten Beard and Jamie Van Eyck. The provost also extended her appreciation to Dean Mortenson for his dedicated service to the Baylor School of Music and 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.