Long-Time Faculty To Retire

The faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music (MPSOM) is a group of incredibly talented, hard-working group of educators who are committed to ensuring their students are prepared with all the tools they need for a successful and meaningful career. That is evident in the countless number of professional positions our students land upon their graduation. In addition, these faculty members have collectively been the recipients of countless awards and honors and have been active researchers and contributors to the advancement of their disciplines.

Three of our esteemed colleagues have announced their intention to retire this summer:

  • Dr. Judith Bowman-Interim Chair of Musicianship and Professor of Music Education and Music Technology
  • Bill Purse-Professor of Music Technology and Jazz Guitar; Former Chair of Contemporary Music, Media, and Jazz
  • Lynn Emberg Purse-Associate Professor of Music Technology; Area Coordinator of Composition, and Director of Electronic Ensemble

These three members of our faculty have over 100 years of combined service to Duquesne, and together, were responsible for the development of one of the very first four-year degree programs in music technology. The Bachelor of Music in Music Technology has been a sought-after degree since its implementation in 1993, bringing students from around the world to Pittsburgh for their studies.

Individually, each of these esteemed faculty has also made their own indelible mark on the Mary Pappert School of Music:

Judy Bowman joined the faculty in 1984, with a goal of bringing technology to the music school, which has remained an ongoing focus for the last 36 years. She most recently held the titles of Professor of Music Education and Music Technology, as well as Interim Chair of Musicianship. In addition to her work on the music technology degree program, Judy was instrumental in the development of the Master of Music in Music Education, which featured a hybrid curriculum that was mostly online and was an integral part of the MPSOM's list of offerings for nearly 20 years.

Following many national and international presentations on various aspects of music technology, Judy authored the first book on online learning in music, aptly titled Online Learning in Music: Foundations, Frameworks, and Practices, (Oxford University Press, 2014). As she moves on from Duquesne, she will turn her focus to completing work on a second book for Oxford, The Music Professor Online, which is slated for publication in 2021. She has received many awards, including the Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award and the Duquesne University Presidential Scholarship Award. In addition, Judy was a founding member of the Center for Teaching Excellence and has served as the faculty advisor for the Duquesne chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the American honor society for students and professors of music.

She says, "During my time at Duquesne, I've worked within and across departments, with the Music Education and Music Technology departments, and most recently with the Musicianship Department. As a Professor at Duquesne, I've collaborated with outstanding colleagues to innovate and to develop, sustain, and continually improve the quality musical education the Mary Pappert School of Music has always provided. But it's the people who make the school what it is, and I've been fortunate to be part of an innovative technology team and to collaborate in productive pursuits with my many talented colleagues over the years."

Bill Purse first came to Duquesne in 1975 as an undergraduate guitar performance major, studying with "Handyman" Joe Negri. Later, in 1978, Lynn arrived on campus to study music therapy as a post-graduate student. Bill, needing the larger locker space afforded to piano students to store his guitar, began sharing a locker with Lynn, and the two soon began dating. They were married in the fall of 1979 and spent the next several years touring and performing together. In 1986, they returned to Duquesne to complete graduate degrees and ultimately begin their work as faculty.

During his tenure, Bill was the Chair of the Contemporary Music, Media, and Jazz department (formerly the Music Technology department), Professor of Music Technology and Jazz Guitar, and has been responsible for attaining a significant number of Duquesne and MPSOM milestones. These include, but are not limited to, the renovation of the large rehearsal room (formerly room 322-now dubbed the Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation), substantial fundraising through the Fender Corporation and Bill Schultz, recording and production of several MPSOM-related albums, and much more. He has also been the recipient of several awards and honors, such as the President's Award for Excellence in Scholarship (1996), Certificate of Recognition for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (1999), Lifetime Achievement Award for Guitar Pedagogy and Performance (2001), and he was initiated into the Duquesne University Office of Research's Hall of Fame in 2008. Bill is the author of several books, including The Finale 2014 Primer, Sound Innovations for Guitar (Books 1 & 2), and Home Recording Basics and has also been very active as an audio engineer and producer for many albums, films, and documentaries.

"It has been a great honor to work with such talented faculty and gifted students," Bill says. "The music school has served as a wonderful extended family that brings great joy to me in my many years as a professor. The Mary Pappert School of Music is a wonderful place to compose, perform, and work with wonderful Deans, such as Edward Kocher, who was my partner in so many eventful and important opportunities. As I retire, I'm confident in the future of the music school under the leadership of David Allen Wehr as Dean, as well as the leadership of Professor Tom Kikta in guiding the guitar and music technology programs. I'll miss you all but will be working on new recordings, books, and films. Stay tuned."

Lynn began teaching as an adjunct professor in 1989 and has had several positions over the years, including Associate Professor of Music Technology, Music Technology Lab Manager, Area Coordinator of Composition, and Director of the Electronic Ensemble. She has also accumulated a long list of awards and accolades including the President's Award for Excellence in Service (2005), Women's Advisory Board Women of Distinction Award (2012), and the Duquesne University Presidential Scholarship Award (2017), which she used to compose Watershed, a concerto for faculty member and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra cellist Adam Liu, which was premiered and recorded in 2018 with the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Meyer. She has also authored five books, composed many pieces for various Duquesne ensembles, and has secured over $400,000 in grants to equip and upgrade the Music Technology labs.

Reflecting on her career at Duquesne, Lynn offers, "Musicians seldom work alone-collaboration is essential between composers, performers, and conductors. Making music is, by nature, a collaborative effort, and composers depend on the efforts and talents of those who bring their ideas to life. It has been my great privilege to collaborate with so many of my talented colleagues as they lent their artistic gifts to my musical ideas. The faculty and staff of MPSOM are especially generous in sharing their talent in our common enterprise to teach and to make music. My life has been forever changed by their friendship and their talents, and I have been especially fortunate to have shared this remarkable journey with my husband and best friend, Bill Purse."

David Allen Wehr, Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music, offered his congratulations to all three retirees, saying, "I extend my sincerest thanks and congratulations to Judy Bowman, Lynn Purse, and Bill Purse on their retirements. They have served the School of Music in countless positive ways over the last three and a half decades, being critically responsible for the founding and success of our music technology program, helping to build it into one of the finest in the country. I join my faculty colleagues, students, and staff in wishing them all the best as they embark on exciting new chapters in their lives."

Judy, Bill, and Lynn-please accept our sincerest thanks for all you have done for Duquesne, your faculty and staff colleagues, and most importantly, your students. Your contributions have become part of the fabric of the Mary Pappert School of Music and will continue to have lasting impacts on the lives of our future students. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors!



Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

It's time for bigger goals
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