• Baylor prof named Texas’ collegiate music teacher of the year

    Dr. Bradley Bolen (right) receives his honor from the Texas Music Teachers Association

    Dr. Bradley Bolen’s love of music has taken him around the world, and his excellence in sharing that love with others has been honored close to home.

    Bolen, a senior lecturer of piano at Baylor, was named the 2023 Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA). Renowned on the piano, Bolen is a Steinway Artist with multiple recordings to his credit, and his desire to share the power of music with individuals in challenging situations has taken him to war-torn spots around the world — a variety of experiences that inform his teaching with Baylor students.

    The Baylor Family may remember hearing about Bolen through his work with American Voices, which Bolen describes as “Doctors Without Borders, but for music. We go into places with emerging conflict and give music workshops, lessons and classes to youngsters.”

    His partnership with American Voices has taken him to places like Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and his international bent has led him to work with students from places like Poland (where a student he recruited to Baylor became an award-winning musician) or, more recently, Ukraine. That theme — the connective power of music — has likewise benefitted Baylor students since he joined the BU faculty in 2000.

    This actually marks the second straight year a Baylor professor has earned top honors from the TMTA; Dr. Lesley McAllister, professor of piano, earned the honor last year. In all, five Baylor professors have earned the award: Roger Keyes (1988), Joyce Jones (2003), Jane Abbott-Kirk (2004), McAllister (2022), and Bolen (2023).

    Sic ’em, Dr. Bolen!