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 Visual Art—and has been filled
each year with residencies by nationally and internationally known artists since its
Nov. 21-24, 2019
World Premiere Evening of One Act Plays: Five Savory Dishes
John Patrick Shanley, playwright, and Freddie Ashley, Director
Former recipients of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence include:
John Rommel, trumpet- In residence April 12-18, 2019
Gomalan Brass, world-renowned brass quintet, direct from Italy- In residence January 24-27, 2019
Warren Jones, collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and conductor- In residence Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018
Miró String Quartet- In residence at APSU from September 25-29, 2018
Boris Allakhverdyan, principal clarinetist of the L.A. Philharmonic- Week-long residency in September of 2018
Lorna McGhee, principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony- Week-long residency in November, 2018
Sonya Clark (2017-2018) - textile artist (Art + Design)
Dorothy Allison (2016-2017) - Creative Writing
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
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
Scott McCloud (2013-14) - American cartoonist and comics theorist, author of the classic study, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art .
David Huddle (2012-13) - Esteemed poet, fiction writer, and essayist.
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
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
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.
Louise Erdrich (2008-09) - Renowned author of twelve novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's
books, and a memoir of early motherhood.
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.
Cantus (2006-07) - An artist led, professional a cappela vocal ensemble with eight male
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
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.
Linda Norlen (2005-06) – Graphic designer and critic.
Michael Blumenthal (2004-05) – Internationally renowned poet and memoirist, author of Against Romance and All My Fathers and Mothers.
Louis Fantasia (2003-04) – Internationally prominent actor, director, producer, theatre critic and
Elizabeth Walton Vercoe (2002-03) – Prominent 20th century composer.
Carol Scott-Kassner (2002-03) – Nationally known author of music education literature.
George McCauley (2001-02) – acclaimed ceramicist.
David Bradley (2000-01) – African American scholar and novelist, author of The Chaneysville Incident.
Kelly Morgan (1999-00) – nationally prominent actor, director, producer, choreographer, teacher
and administrator in stage, film and television.
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.
Frances Whitehead (1997-98) – internationally acclaimed sculptor.
Carolyn Forche' (1996-97) – poet and global champion of the oppressed and downtrodden.
Elizabeth Van Dyke (1995-96) – multi-award winning actress and director.
Tim Gerber (1994-95) – music educator and co-author of the popular text, Music! Its Role and Importance in our Lives.
Jim Nutt (1993-94) – internationally distinguished painter.
John Haines (1992-93) – two-time Guggenheim Fellow, poet and essayist.
Howard Stein (1991-92) – internationally acclaimed thespian, playwright and author.
Ron Nelson (1990-91) – nationally known composer of choral, band and orchestral works.
Ted Orland (1988-89) – nationally recognized photographer/artist.
David Madden (1987-88) – Southern fiction writer, playwright, critic and author.
Arthur Kopit (1986-87) – internationally acclaimed American playwright.