From The News Times, June 16, 2011

Musician-professor Goble to head WestConn visual and performing arts school


DANBURY -- Saxophonist and professor Dan Goble, who has played music with the best for decades, has been named dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Western Connecticut State University.

The 51-year-old Danbury resident will shepherd the studies of talented student musicians, artists, dancers and actors, and inspire his peers in his newest assignment.

Goble takes the helm just before construction begins on the Visual and Performing Arts Center on WestConn's westside campus. The center is expected to open in 2014, with concert and performance halls and student workshop and support space.

"I feel humbled and gratified I've been offered the position," Goble said. "I feel very confident we can fulfill the dream of this wonderful school. This is a place for Connecticut's finest young musicians, artists, dancers and actors to study their craft.''

About 550 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in music, theater, fine arts and dance programs in the School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Goble was selected as part of a national search to take over the work of retiring dean Carole Hawkes, contingent on the state finalizing contracts with state workers.

Assistant music professor Jamie Begian, the jazz studies coordinator, will replace Goble as chairman of the music department when the state contracts are settled.

"Dan is an acclaimed performer, so he brings that credibility, but he's also someone who is deeply committed to this university and the region," WestConn president James Schmotter said last week.

"He understands the role of fine arts now and how it can grow. He puts students first and is one of the most respected faculty members at the university."

Schmotter praised Hawkes for her "able and dedicated leadership" of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, which was established in 2006.

"This is the next step, having a strong faculty member in one of the disciplines. It's key," Schmotter said. "He's going to do a great job."

Hawkes, who retires June 30, said she was proud that in just five years the school is close to having the center and in the process of receiving national accreditation for all its programs, both goals of her tenure.

She said Goble's appointment will bring "new creative energy" to the school.

Goble has been chairman of WestConn's department of music since 2005. He was associate chairman from 1998 to 2004, and director of the university's jazz studies program from 1994 to 2005.

He's performed with some of the finest ensembles, musicians and conductors in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet.

He also belongs to the New York Saxophone Quartet and the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet. His latest CD has just been released.

Goble praised the faculty of the school and the dedication of students, and said he felt strongly that his professional career will be an important component in being a successful dean.

"Students need someone to look up to, and the faculty needs to know that the person who is working for them is still performing,'' Goble said. "The visual and performing arts dean needs to be active."

Contact Eileen FitzGerald, at or at 203-731-3333.

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