University of Oklahoma music master teacher Kenneth D. Stephenson has been named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts’ 2012 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts at OU. The award has been presented annually since 1995 to recognize exemplary leadership in the arts and arts education.
“Dr. Stephenson is one of our most dedicated master teachers. His energy, scholarly wisdom, and enthusiasm have made him a perennial favorite of our students,” said College of Fine Arts Dean Rich Taylor.
A member of the OU faculty since 1989, Stephenson has served as the Kenneth and Bernardine Russell Chair of Music Theory since January 2004 and as chair of the Department of Music Theory since June 2003.
He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has designed and coordinated the freshman/sophomore theory sequence as well as several graduate electives in theory. He recently returned from OU’s signature study abroad destination, Arezzo, Italy, where he taught special-topic courses in music.
Active professionally, Stephenson served a four-year term as chief reader of the AP exams in music theory for the Educational Testing Service. His publications include a Yale Press book titled What to Listen For in Rock; forthcoming publications include “Music in Arezzo” and “Guido of Arezzo’s Regule Ritmice: A Verse Translation.”
While at OU, Stephenson has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, among them the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching and the College of Fine Arts’ Outstanding Faculty Award. Also, the OU Student Association has recognized him as Outstanding Faculty Member in the college.
Stephenson earned his bachelor of arts degree in music from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, master’s degree in music theory from Baylor University and doctoral degree in music theory from the University of Iowa.