MACON – Mercer Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis has announced the appointment of Dr. Gary Gerber as dean of the University’s Townsend School of Music, effective July 1.

Dr. Gerber succeeds Dr. C. David Keith, who is retiring at the end of the current academic year after serving as dean of the School of Music since 2013.

“Gary Gerber brings more than 20 years of academic leadership, both as a chair and dean, to lead the Townsend School of Music,” Dr. Davis said. “The School has enjoyed strong momentum under David Keith’s leadership, and I believe that Dr. Gerber can build on that momentum to further expand the School’s impact and reputation.”

“I am very pleased with the selection of Dr. Gary Gerber as the new dean of the Townsend School of Music,” added Dr. Keith. “Dr. Gerber is an outstanding educator, a man of compassion and possesses uncompromised integrity. I believe he will provide excellent leadership as the School of Music moves into the second quarter of the 21st century.”

A native of Azle, Texas, Dr. Gerber has served as dean of the School of Fine Arts at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, since 2015. He also holds appointments as chair of the Division of Music and professor of music.

Dr. Gerber earned his Bachelor of Music from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, and both his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

His areas of expertise include choral music literature, choral techniques and choral conducting.

Dr. Gerber for 16 years directed the OBU’s concert choir and teaches various conducting and choral methods classes. The Ouachita Singers, under his direction, were selected to sing at the Arkansas All-State conference and the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association convention. He has taken the choir on numerous tours throughout the U.S. and overseas, most recently to Italy in 2017.

He served the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as Repertoire and Standards Chairs for Colleges and Universities from 2006-2010 and as coordinator of the division’s Collegiate Honor Choir from 2006-2016. In addition to the ACDA, he is a member of the Arkansas Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, Arkansas Music Educators Association, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

“I am very excited about working with the faculty, students and staff in the Townsend School of Music,” said Dr. Gerber. “I look forward to being a part of the tradition of excellence that the School has achieved and is known for across the country. I want to help support the mission of the School and see it continue to grow while serving the students, the University and the Mercer community.”

Before coming to OBU, Dr. Gerber served as director of choral studies at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, from 1996-2004. He also served as music director and conductor of the Missouri Baptist All-State Youth Choir and the Missouri Music Men, a male chorus of ministers of music from Missouri Baptist churches. He was founder and director of the Bolivar Community Chorus, a chorus that sang four to five times a season and regularly joined the choral forces at Southwest Baptist University to present large-scale choral works.

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Gerber has served as interim minister of music in several Baptist churches. He is active as a clinician both in the public school and church music fields.

He is married to Linda Gerber, a middle school band director, and they have two sons, Nathan and Nicholas.

“I would like to thank the School of Music dean search committee, led by Dr. Christopher Schmitz, professor of music theory, for its excellent work in recruiting a well-qualified candidate pool,” Dr. Davis said.

About Townsend School of Music

Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America’s most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season’s concerts, visit www.mercer.edu/music, or call (478) 301-2748.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​