The Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence
In 1985, country music legend Roy Acuff generously established an endowment to enrich the arts community at APSU and in Clarksville Montgomery County. The result was the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence, which brings regionally and nationally acclaimed artists to APSU to share their expertise with students and the community in a dynamic atmosphere of unrestricted experimentation. The Acuff Chair rotates between APSU's four creative arts areas—Creative Writing, Music, Theatre & Dance, and Art + Design—and has been filled each year with residencies by nationally and internationally known artists since its inception.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in collaboration between the CECA Director, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and APSU faculty, the difficult decision was made to pause activities for the Acuff Chair of Excellence in 2020-2021. Activities will resume in 2021-2022 in the area of Creative Writing.
Former recipients of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence include:
Sonya Clark, textile artist (2017-2018) - Art + Design
Scott McCloud (2013-14) - American cartoonist and comics theorist, author of the classic study, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.
Ian Berry (2009-10) - Contemporary art specialist, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator at The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.
Linda Norlen (2005-06) – Graphic designer and critic.
George McCauley (2001-02) – acclaimed ceramicist.
Frances Whitehead (1997-98) – internationally acclaimed sculptor.
Jim Nutt (1993-94) – internationally distinguished painter.
Ted Orland (1988-89) – nationally recognized photographer/artist.
Dorothy Allison (2016-2017) - Creative Writing
David Huddle (2012-13) - Esteemed poet, fiction writer, and essayist.
Louise Erdrich (2008-09) - Renowned author of twelve novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood.
Michael Blumenthal (2004-05) – Internationally renowned poet and memoirist, author of Against Romance and All My Fathers and Mothers.
David Bradley (2000-01) – scholar of African American history and novelist, author of The Chaneysville Incident.
Carolyn Forche' (1996-97) – poet and global champion of the oppressed and downtrodden.
John Haines (1992-93) – two-time Guggenheim Fellow, poet and essayist.
David Madden (1987-88) – Southern fiction writer, playwright, critic and author.
Arthur Kopit (1986-87) – internationally acclaimed American playwright.
John Rommel, trumpet (2018-2019) - Music
Gomalan Brass, world-renowned brass quintet, direct from Italy (2018-2019) - Music
Warren Jones, collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and conductor (2018-2019) - Music
Miró String Quartet (2018-2019) - Music
Boris Allakhverdyan, principal clarinetist of the L.A. Philharmonic (2018-2019) - Music
Lorna McGhee, principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony (2018-2019) - Music
Charles Niedich (2014-15) - Music
Willie Anthony Waters (2014-15) - Music
Anna Celenza (2014-15) - Music
Orchid Ensemble (2014-15) - Music
Jo-Michael Scheibe (2014-15) - Music
Rhonda Larson (2014-15) - Music
The Ying Quartet (2010–11) - String Quartet
Sydney Guillaume (2010–11) - Composer and vocalist
William Bennett (2010–11) - World-renowned flutist
Paul Schoenfield (2010–11) - Composer and pianist
Clifton Ware (2010–11) - Internationally known vocal pedagogue, master teacher, tenor soloist and author.
Cantus (2006-07) - An artist led, professional a cappella vocal ensemble with eight male members.
Bodo Igesz (2006-07) - Famed opera singer and stage director of the Metropolitan Opera.
Tony Plog (2006-07) - Conductor and composer with commissioned works from ensembles around the globe.
John L. Whitwell (2006-07) - Director of bands, Professor of Music and Chair of the Conducting Area at Michigan State University.
Lee Hoiby (2006-07) - American classical pianist and composer, one of the most notable living composers of classical vocal music.
Elizabeth Walton Vercoe (2002-03) – Prominent 20th century composer.
Carol Scott-Kassner (2002-03) – Nationally known author of music education literature.
Dalton Baldwin (1998-99) – internationally acclaimed pianist.
Matthew Harp Allen (1998-99) – ethnomusicologist.
Donna Loewy (1998-99) – vocal coach/accompanist.
David Holsinger (1998-99) – eminent band composer.
Frederic Goossen (1998-99) – nationally known composer/music theorist.
Cedric Dent (1998-99) – Grammy award-winning singer, pianist, arranger, conductor and producer.
Tim Gerber (1994-95) – music educator and co-author of the popular text, Music! Its Role and Importance in our Lives.
Ron Nelson (1990-91) – nationally known composer of choral, band and orchestral works.
Ronald Keaton, actor (2019-2020) - Theatre & Dance
Antoinette DiPietropolo, director (2019-2020) - Theatre & Dance
Freddie Ashley, director (2019-2020) - Theatre & Dance
Second City Fully Loaded (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Cheryl Sanders Cirq du Soliel (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Axis Dance Company (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Rick Berger (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Jeanette Lovetri, Somatic Voice Specialist (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Lishi Lou and Lucky, Too (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
David Weinstein (2015-2016) - Theatre & Dance
Rachel Keebler (2011-12) - Theatre Design
Sarah Haas (2011-12) - Dance
Second City (2011-12) - Theatre Performance
Peiling Kao (2011-12) - Dance
Tim Miller (2011-12) - Theatre Performance
Keith Fitzpatrick (2011-12) - Dance
Annmarie Duggan (2011-12) - Lighting Design
Anthony Zerbe (2011-12) - Theatre Performance
Lawrence Goldhuber (2007-08) - Choreographer, dancer, actor, and performance artist who has worked in New York for more than 20 years.
The Second City Touring Company (2007-08) - Premiere comedy club, theatre, and school for improvisation.
Mark Block (2007-08) - The Southeast's premiere and most selective modeling and talent agency.
Annmarie Duggan (2007-08) – Nationally-recognized Lighting Designer
Karen E. Maguire (2007-08) - Highly accomplished actress, writer, teacher, director, and producer.
7 Stages Inc./Bernard Koltes (2007-08) - A non-profit theatre company that focuses on social, political, and spiritual values of contemporary culture.
Louis Fantasia (2003-04) – Internationally prominent actor, director, producer, theatre critic and arts commentator.
Kelly Morgan (1999-00) – nationally prominent actor, director, producer, choreographer, teacher and administrator in stage, film and television.
Elizabeth Van Dyke (1995-96) – multi-award winning actress and director.
Howard Stein (1991-92) – internationally acclaimed thespian, playwright and author.