2016 Robert M. Trotter Lecturer

Manufacturing the Future of Music: Can We End Our Love Affair with Crisis?

Will music study become an opportunity for every child or will arts education continue to erode? Will music departments become too expensive at the college level or will they serve as models for the 21st century? Are we faced with overwhelming challenges or endless opportunities? These debates abound in our profession and are driven by individual experience, perception and disposition, but we often agree to conclude that outcomes are beyond our control.

We are the keepers of the flame and the architects of tomorrow and must undertake an active role in shaping our destiny. We should harness the mechanisms that lead to change and create the future our children deserve.

This talk will present a broad framework for advocacy and outline a series of specific ideas in regard to curriculum, funding, and organizational transformation, with the goal of identifying long-term strategies for success.

Collectively we have great power to advance the cause of music, but do we have the conviction to do what is necessary? There will be time for robust discussion.


David Stull

David H. Stull (San Francisco Conservatory of Music)

David H. Stull became President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on July 1, 2013, having served previously as Dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music since 2004.

At Oberlin, he helped secure support for numerous initiatives including The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building, a project spearheaded to completion under his leadership. The Kohl Building is one of the most innovative teaching and performance facilities in the country and is the first dedicated music building to receive a Gold LEED rating. Under his leadership, the Conservatory created an intensive entrepreneurship curriculum, numerous academic and experiential learning programs, and produced fully sponsored orchestral tours to Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the People’s Republic of China. He also launched a state-of-the-art recording studio and record label and initiated a series of world-class recording projects, including a Grammy®-nominated album.

Recognizing the success of Oberlin’s innovative academic programming and contributions to American education, President Barack Obama presented the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with the National Medal of Arts, which Dean Stull accepted on behalf of the institution in February 2010.

A professional tubist, Stull has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, the Bravo Colorado Music Festival, the Oberlin Brass Quintet, the American Brass Quintet and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, among others. He has toured the United States and Europe and has appeared on Live from Lincoln Center as well as at venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall and Merkin Hall. He has also recorded for commercial radio and television. His students hold major teaching positions and have appeared as guests with the Houston and Seattle Symphony orchestras.

Stull has been a guest speaker at institutions ranging from The Juilliard School to the Interlochen Arts Academy, most recently appearing at the Business Innovation Factory and the University of North Texas’ Leadership Conference. He has been heard on Public Radio International’s From the Top, National Public Radio’s Performance Today and on WCLV/WVIZ radio in Ohio.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Stull earned degrees in tuba performance and English literature at Oberlin College. He attended the Aspen Music Festival and pursued further study at The Juilliard School in the American Brass Quintet program before completing an M.M. at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

He and his wife, Jessica Downs, live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Madeline and Emily.