Counterpoint, Spring 2002 Page: 4
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In August of 200oo,
the College of
Music came under .....
the leadership of a
new dean, Dr. Counterpoint: How are you
and your family settling into
James C. Scott. Denton and the DFW
We took a few
Scott: We feel that a communi-
moments of his ty is ultimately much more its
people than its buildings and
time to ask him roads, and we continue to enjoy
building new friendships in the
some questions so larger community as well as
you, our friends within the University. We also
enjoy the easy access to the
and alumni, may entire metroplex and surround-
get to know him as
Counterpoint: Was there one par-
we have. ticular "selling point" that clinched
your decision to come to UNT as
the Dean of the College of Music?
Scott: It was more a constellation of factors-the quality
and comprehensiveness of the College of Music, the quality
of leadership at the campus level, and the proximity to a
major urban cultural center. But, none of these factors
would have mattered had it not been for the powerful
impression made by the dedication and excellence of a wel-
Counterpoint: For many years before you came to UNT,
you were a music professor at other universities. Do you
miss being in the classroom/studio?
Scott: Yes. I have over 35 years of teaching behind me and
many students whose continuing friendships remind me of
the incomparable satisfaction of teaching. However, my
role as dean calls for me to mentor junior faculty and guide
artistic decisions-activities which involve the essence of
Counterpoint: At what age did you begin studying music,
and what instruments do you play?
Scott: I started piano at the age of 7 and flute at the age of
8. A series of four broken arms (deriving from such child-
hood pleasures as bicycles and horses) before I reached
high school curtailed piano work, but not the flute.
Although I have done professional work on both, it is prob-
ably those early years that determined the leading edge for
the flute, which still continues.
Counterpoint; What is your favorite piece to perform in an
Scott: When I'm working toward a performance, the reper-
toire for the next concert usually becomes my favorite.
Whether as a pianist or flutist, I've always been drawn
toward music including voice, but that preference, too, is
quickly forgotten in preparing a chamber music concert
Counterpoint: Now that you have been Dean of the
College for nearly two semesters, what would you say are
its strongest points, and where is there room for improve-
Scott: The size of the school, which implies its compre-
hensiveness and its diversity, is simultaneously one of its
greatest strengths and greatest challenges. The large com-
munity of excellent faculty and students provides a wonder-
ful setting for intellectual and artistic ferment, but our goal
of serving each student appropriately in such a vast enter-
prise is daunting. We believe in giving a chance to students
of widely varying backgrounds, but we are also proud of
the standards we set and the high-quality opportunities we
provide to many world-class talents.
Counterpoint: In what ways would you like to see the
College of Music grow over the next five years?
Scott: Before speaking of new initiatives, I need to reaf-
firm my commitment to the protection of the many
strengths that have been developed over the years. Although
we are just beginning a strategic planning process, I will
want us to consider advancements in the mentoring of grad-
uating teaching fellows in the integration of our various
instructional pursuits, in our attention to international pro-
grams, and in the services and offerings we provide our stu-
dents in career development.
Counterpoint:What is your impression of the COM's
newest facility, the Murchison Performing Arts Center?
Scott: The Murchison provides not only an exceptionally fine
space in terms of acoustics and ambiance, it also stands in our
region as a completely professional performance venue, provid-
ing the public with an appropriate image for music at UNT and
our student ensembles with a sense of the import of their work. A
space such as Winspear Hall inspires the best possible perform-
ances and the highest levels of audience receptivity. It is impor-
tant though, to maintain a sense of the dignity, prestige, centrality,
and performance quality of all of our performance spaces. Much
of our finest music making will continue to take place in the
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University of North Texas. College of Music. Counterpoint, Spring 2002, periodical, Spring 2002; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc181736/m1/4/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Music.