Stevens joins College of Education as new music department head

Monday, August 15, 2022

Contact: Camille Carskadon

Portrait of Daniel StevensDaniel Stevens (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A longtime symphony orchestra performer, conductor and faculty member is Mississippi State’s new head of the Department of Music.

Daniel Stevens comes to MSU after serving as a tenured professor at the University of North Alabama, where he also was director of orchestral studies and an applied viola studio teacher. While at UNA, he established partnerships with Disney Concerts, Film Concerts Live and several Grammy award-winning artists. He also led the Shoals Symphony Orchestra, an external nonprofit organization in Florence, Alabama, which generated approximately $2 million over an eight-year span.

Previously, he was the Mazie Barnet Kilmer Chair for String Education at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and conductor of the South Kansas Symphony. He has performed as a career violist with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and served as a guest clinician and adjudicator for several state honor festivals in Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“Dr. Stevens has a distinguished record of accomplishments in the field of music. He has served as director of the Peery Center for Orchestral Studies, president of the Alabama Orchestra Association, and artistic director of the Shoals Symphony Orchestra. He has worked throughout his career to accelerate growth in programs while supporting faculty and students,” said Teresa Jayroe, dean of MSU’s College of Education, which houses the department.

“We anticipate he will collaborate across the university, community, state and region to support and grow the Department of Music,” Jayroe added.

With the department’s new building scheduled to open this fall, Stevens, who began July 1, said he is starting his position at an exciting time and is grateful to be part of program revitalization.

“I’m so honored to be serving alongside such distinguished faculty as we transition to a state-of-the-art music building,” Stevens said. “There’s a wonderful energy within the department, and I’m excited about the opportunities for development in each music performance and music education pathway.”

The professor and department head said he is looking forward to investing in the students and faculty by organizing an entrepreneurial approach to music education, with a focus on strengthening the “resilient and passionate” community of current students and faculty.

“I’m really energized by the spirit of the greater Starkville community, the MSU College of Education and the music department, and I hope to serve as an advocate for the enormous talents within the program,” Stevens said. “One thing that astounded me about Mississippi State University is that all corners of the institution have invested heavily in the well-being of students, and I’m excited to be a part of highlighting our contribution to the music field to the entire globe.”

Stevens obtained his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and doctoral degree from the University of North Texas, all in music performance.

Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units. For more about the college, visit The Department of Music is online at

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