WMU News

Kynaston honored for teaching excellence

Sept. 21, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Trent Kynaston, professor of music at Western Michigan University, was honored with the inaugural Dean's Teaching Award in the WMU College of Fine Arts at a Sept. 9 reception in the Gilmore Theatre Complex. The new award will be presented annually for outstanding teaching and dedication to student development.

"I received correspondence from eight alumni who gave extraordinary testimony to your effectiveness as a mentor, coach, role model, instructor and good colleague," said Dean Margaret Merrion in presenting the award to Kynaston. "Mentoring hundreds of saxophonists and jazz musicians over the past 32 years has yielded an impressive array of successful alumni."

Among the WMU music alumni who sent letters of support for Kynaston's nomination were Dr. David Lee Fish, associate professor of music at Catawba College; Bill Kennedy, professor of jazz studies at Florida State University; Robert Lewis, director of jazz studies at the College of Charleston; and Shawn Wallace, assistant professor of jazz studies at Ohio State University.

Recognized internationally as both a classical and jazz saxophonist, Kynaston has numerous recordings, as well as published compositions, articles and texts to his credit. He is a member of the Western Jazz Quartet, co-directs the University Jazz Lab Band, and has earned dozens of honors, including an Achievement Award for Jazz Education from Down Beat magazine.

Kynaston earned both his bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Arizona. Advanced study at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Bordeaux, France, with Jean-Marie Londeix, earned him the "Medaille d'Honneur," the Conservatoire's highest honor.

Kynaston joined the WMU faculty as an assistant professor of music in 1973.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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