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Duquesne chooses new dean for school of music

| Monday, June 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Duquesne University
Seth Beckman is the new dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University

Seth Beckman, currently at Florida State University, has been chosen as the new dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University.

Beckman, senior associate dean of music at Florida State, will take over the post Aug. 18. He replaces Edward Kocher, 64, who has held the position since 2000.

Beckman, 48, says he was attracted to the Duquesne program because it is “comprehensive” and because Duquesne is similar to St. John's University in Minnesota, where he got his bachelor's degree.

“It will be like coming home in many ways,” he says. “It will nice to have the four seasons again.”

Beckman, who has been at Florida State since 2002, got his a master's and doctorate from Ball State University in Indiana. He also is a performing pianist and says he is impressed with the strength of the arts scene in Pittsburgh.

Duquesne President Charles Dougherty says, “Beckman brings a unique combination of leadership experience, as well as teaching, scholarship and excellence in performance to his new role.”

Kocher will take a year sabbatical and return to Duquesne in August 2015 to assume the William Patrick Power Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership, a course of study he says will focus on getting performers and nonperformers to participate more in the arts.

He says Beckman is a “wonderful selection” because of his academic and performance background.

“A school has to have new life, new energy, new perspectives,” Kocher says. “I will be on the faculty and will be disappointed if he doesn't take us in new directions.”

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320-7852.

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