School of Music News

FEATURED STORY: Following Your Bliss as a Researcher

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.
FOR HARRY E. PRICE, the idea of pursuing a career in music wasn’t exactly in his family’s plans. “My family has always been in business,” says Price, who began playing trombone in seventh grade, and decided around 10th grade that his path lay in music. “I sat my parents down and said, ‘I know it’s not for you, but I’m interested in music and teaching.’ And my father said, ‘You choose what you love, because money isn’t the answer. You’ve got to pick something you care about.’”

The shift from perform-ing to music education happened thanks to a job Price took while putting himself through school. “I got a job assisting Michael Wagner, who was in charge of technology at the time. I also helped a couple of doctoral students who were doing dissertations, one of whom was Cornelia Yarbrough. Interestingly. I ended up studying with her in Syracuse.” Price, who is the former Academic Editor of NAfME’s Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), and current professor of music and music education at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music education, both from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and a doctorate in teacher preparation from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award Kennesaw State.Price has been doing research for more than 35 years. He describes his passion this way: “It’s just stuff I’m interested in, stuff I wonder about. I go, ‘I wonder if...’ It’s just curiosity.” He has been working with colleague Steve Morrison on the effect of conducting regarding the perception of sound. “We did a study where we had different conductors conducting music, but we had the same performance. And we found that the effect of the conductor on people’s perception of the music was quite high. They rate the experience of the music on how expressive the conductor is.” Price also says that if people see a fancy conductor as opposed to a more placid one, the viewer’s perception is affected. “Plenty of conductors will say it doesn’t matter. I tend to believe research, and if I find research that is different from what I think, I change my thought because I believe in data.”

Price remarks that, “Joseph Campbell used to say, ‘Follow your bliss.’ And that’s what people should do. Find something you are excited about. Your dissertation is who you are going to be for at least five years, so people need to find something that excites them.”

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award-KSU.As a tip for researchers, Price recom-mends, “Don’t start with the answer, like, ‘I’m going to do research and prove that I’m right. You’ve got to be open to any possibility. There is a difference between a belief and a fact. Be open to all ideas and all information, not just the information that supports what you think the answer should be, because that’s death in research.”

By Lisa Ferber

Wind Ensemble Performs at Southern Division College Band Directors National Conference


Kennesaw, GA (March 5, 2016)–– In February 2016, the School of Music’s Wind Ensemble performed at the Southern Division College Band Directors National Conference Convention in Charleston, South Carolina. The Ensemble worked with Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Joseph Schwantner and a new, young composer from the University of Texas at Austin, Andrew Boss.

The Ensemble was also chosen among eight university wind ensembles from the Southeast United States to perform at this prestigious Conference at the Gaillard Concert Hall in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.  In addition, they were selected to perform as a residence ensemble for a conducting session for the participants of the Conference.

Director of Bands and Professor of Music, Dr. David Kehler, enjoyed seeing his students work with these composers (Schwantner being a Pulitzer Prize winner).

“To have one of the world’s most renowned and important living composers, along with a young composer just starting his career, sharing their talents and energy with our students was wonderful. We got to see how those guys interact together and with the students.  The students were magnificent and represented Kennesaw State University well.”

Schwantner previously served as an in-residence composer for the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic as well as a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music.  KSU music students got the chance to work with Schwantner, who was in-residence at KSU’s School of Music to prepare and premier his piece Luminosity, “Concerto for Wind Ensemble” at the CBDNA Conference in Charleston.

The Ensemble also premiered Andrew Boss’s piece, entitled Tetelestai, “A Symphony for Wind Ensemble.”  Boss is a Texas composer and a recruitment fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at KSU, Dr. Debra Traficante, was a guest conductor for the Wind Ensemble, conducting the students in Rocky Point Holiday, composed by Ron Nelson.  Traficante appreciates the opportunity students had to travel and work with Schwantner and Boss.

“It’s accurate to say that moments like this are truly once in a lifetime for all parties involved… I am thrilled for the ensemble members that they were granted this well-deserved opportunity, and humbled that I was able to witness and contribute to their growth through the process.”

In addition to the Southern Division CBDNA, the Wind Ensemble also performed at the John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in Augusta, GA and the Bobby Bailey and Family Performance Center on the KSU campus.