Department of Music

Dr. Bradley Pierson, Director of Choral Activities

Dr. Brad Pierson, Director of Choral ActivitiesBrad Pierson joined the faculty of the UT Department of Music in fall 2015. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Western Illinois University. Brad earned his B.M. from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, M.M from California State University-Los Angeles, and D.M.A. from the University of Washington. Previously, Pierson taught at Cheyenne High School and Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, where his choirs earned superior ratings in Nevada, California, and Arizona. In 2005, Brad founded the Las Vegas A Cappella Summit, an event bringing contemporary a cappella music to high school students. Brad has presented at the Nevada Music Educators Association All-State Convention (2009, 2010), ACDA Western Division Conference (2010), and the Illinois Music Education Conference (2015, 2016). 

In 2012, Brad founded whateverandeveramen., a project-based choral ensemble which is focused on breaking down the traditional audience/performer paradigm by creating unique, and non-traditional performance events. W&ea has performed the world premiere of works by Paul Ayres, David V. Montoya, and several other young composers. Most recently, in an effort to bring a new voice to choral music, they commissioned a new work for eight voices by critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Gabriel Kahane

Pierson’s teaching philosophy is one that demands excellence from students by creating an atmosphere that fosters achievement at the highest levels. He developed this method during his doctoral studies at the University of Washington.

“One of my major areas of research…was the development of an andragogy for choral conducting. Whereas pedagogy refers to a dissemination of information in a teacher-directed learning situation, andragogy is a term that reflects a student-oriented approach, which allows the learner to move from dependency to independency. The development of individual skills and empowerment of singers through one-to-one teaching allows students to develop not only as musicians, but also as people. A pedagogy centered approach too often points out deficiencies in the product; e.g. correcting a choir by pointing out faults in technique or mistakes. Rather than pointing out what is wrong, a student-centered andragogy asks the question: “What is now possible?”. 

In addition to his work as a conductor and music educator, Pierson says he has several other passions. “I am an avid sports fan (Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini). I enjoy cooking and try to experiment whenever I can. Grilling in the backyard is one of my favorite ways to spend summers and weekends. I am a craft beer enthusiast and enjoy traveling to breweries and great brew pubs around the country. I am the commissioner of an awesome fantasy football league with 11 of my best friends. We travel to a different city every August for our draft!”

Dr. Bradley Pierson
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Last Updated: 10/30/19