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Performing Arts

U-M Regents appoint interim dean of School of Music, Theatre & Dance

By Jeremy Allen

Melody Lynn Racine will step in as interim dean of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, effective Aug. 16.

Melody Lynn Racine, senior associate dean for academic, faculty and student affairs in the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, will step in as interim dean of the school, effective Aug. 16. The university’s Board of Regents today approved Racine’s appointment.

Racine will take over for Aaron Dworkin, who earlier announced he would step down as dean. He remains a faculty member at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

“Professor Racine is an accomplished mezzo soprano, a master teacher and a skilled and effective administrator,” said Paul Courant, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Over several years of increasing administrative responsibility in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, she has demonstrated an impressive ability to understand, lead and support the programs and activities of the school and to engage its many stakeholders.

“I am confident that under her leadership the school will continue to enhance its excellence in the performing arts as well as its innovation in education and outreach.”

In her role as interim dean, Racine says she is eager and grateful to have this opportunity to build upon the accomplishments of previous deans.

“It is a privilege to serve as interim dean at SMTD following Aaron Dworkin’s dynamic two years of visionary leadership, as well as that of his predecessor, Dean Christopher Kendall, with whom I worked closely throughout his tenure,” she said. “I look forward to building on their exciting accomplishments and working with our excellent faculty, staff and students as we continue to train the next generation of leading artists and scholars in the performing arts.”

Racine received a bachelor’s degree in music and elementary education from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1983 and a master of music degree in voice performance from U-M in 1989. She began her academic career as a lecturer in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1995.

Racine served as the interim chair of the Department of Voice in 2003-04 and was chair of that department from 2008 to 2011. From 2011 to 2015, she served the school as the associate dean for academic affairs. In 2015, the title was amended to associate dean for academic and student affairs to more fully capture the responsibilities encompassed within the student affairs component of the position. The title was again changed in 2016 to senior associate dean for academic, faculty and student affairs to reflect Racine’s increased responsibilities in the management of the school.

Racine is a master teacher in the fields of classical performance and musical theater. She is a recipient of the Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio instruction and she maintains a studio of professional singers who grace the Broadway stage and the operatic stage.

Additionally, Racine is a singing voice specialist with the U-M Hospital’s Vocal Health Center where she uses her expertise and experience to facilitate the healing and training of patients.

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