Cavanagh Named Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts

Friday, May 29, 2020

Dan Cavanagh, Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music, has accepted the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Liberal Arts(CoLA), effective June 1st.


Cavanagh is a composer and pianist who has garnered awards in both areas. He received a 2009 gold medal prize from the International Music for Excellence in Composition for his work for trumpet and piano, from the barrage comes clarity. In 2017, he was awarded a Special Judges’ Citation in the American Prize for Chamber Music Composition for his work for trumpet ensemble and drum set, Waves. As a composer Cavanagh has been commissioned to write for Latin Grammy-winning Afro Bop Alliance, the legendary Patti LaBelle, and a wide range of classical and jazz performers across North America and Europe.


Cavanagh has performed extensively in North America and Europe as a jazz pianist and has also performed in Asia and Central America. He has appeared in concert with Grammy-winners Irma Thomas, Adonis Rose, and Joe McCarthy. He has been a finalist in the Europa Fest Jazz Contest in Bucharest, Romania, and in the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition. As the Executive Producer of UT Arlington Records, he spearheads a record label that involves students and faculty in all aspects of production and management of a recording project, from conception to release. He serves as the Co-Chair of Region VI for the Society of Composers, Inc., an international organization dedicated to new and contemporary music and composers. Today, he continues to be commissioned and programmed around the world, with scheduled upcoming 2020 premieres by the UT Arlington Wind Symphony and the Tabitha Easley (flute)/Tracy Cowden (piano) duo.


“Professor Cavanagh brings to the Associate Deanship a thorough understanding of faculty governance at the university and state levels. He has been a leader, as well, within the college, especially regarding initiatives in the fine arts and fundraising,” said Dr. Elisabeth Cawthon, Dean of CoLA. “His energy and strategic planning as Music Department Chair contributed substantially to renewed growth and direction in that dynamic unit. Our college is fortunate to have a person of Professor Cavanagh’s vision and talent in this role.”


Cavanagh replaces Dr. Sonja Stephenson Watson, who served for more than three years as Associate Dean for CoLA, in addition to serving as an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages. Dr. Watson was recently named Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts at Texas Christian University.


“I am honored to take on the Associate Dean role. I look forward to serving our exceptional faculty, talented departmental and college leadership, and dedicated staff. It is exciting to continue to help CoLA do the things it does best – prepare our students to launch from UTA into successful contributions to the region, country, and world and elevate the human condition through our creative works and leadership in creating new knowledge,” Cavanagh said.


Cavanagh joined UT Arlington in 2005 after earning his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon.