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Messages From the Director

Dr. Sheila Dunn, director of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music, offers messages on behalf of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music.

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Dr. Sheila Dunn Director, Dr. Grier Williams School of Music

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music at the University of West Florida. The Williams School was established in 2020 after receiving the largest cash gift in the history of the University of West Florida. Students in the school of music and members of the Argo Athletic Band now benefit from an endowed scholarship fund in excess of $7 million. This transformative gift has created a new landscape of opportunity for our school, leading to unprecedented growth and innovation across our music curriculum.  At UWF, you will have the opportunity to work with outstanding and internationally recognized performers, composers, scholars, and researchers, who are dedicated to helping our students achieve success in their chosen fields of general music, music performance and music education. 

As an undergraduate-only program, we are able to ensure that our music students receive an individualized, engaging quality education. We are committed to providing each student with a variety of vibrant performing opportunities whether in the solo recital setting, large or small ensemble settings, or in the classroom. We benefit from dynamic partnerships with all of the exceptional arts organizations in our historic Pensacola community which include our symphony, opera company, art museum, children’s chorus, ballet company and community theater. Our department offers students an array of experiential and high impact practice opportunities which include international travel and research as part of the Irish Experience Study Abroad Program. Through these dynamic relationships and opportunities, the Williams School develops well-rounded graduates who are creative, critical thinkers. Our graduates demonstrate the 21st Century skills necessary to succeed in today’s workplace. 

If you haven’t done so already, please contact us and schedule an audition. We are eager to meet you and to hear you perform. At UWF, the Williams School is an innovative, diverse place to study music and to grow. Come be a part of the excitement!

Fall 2021 Message

Dear Students,

The Faculty and I are very excited to begin classes this spring. We are thrilled to welcome our new freshman and transfer students. Returning students, we can't wait to see you all again soon. 

I hope this message finds each one of you focused on safety and good health. We strongly encourage everyone to protect themself and each other by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I want to emphasize the need for flexibility and shared responsibility as we continue to navigate surges in COVID-19. I urge you to review UWF's Mission, Vision, and Values. I also want to remind all of us that there is a wealth of information on UWF's Coronavirus website.

The faculty and I have been highly engaged in staying informed regarding the most current research related to COVID and the Performing Arts. Our operation changes are guided by science. Here is some critical information that has guided our thinking:

Click here to view a PDF of the second round of preliminary results from the CU Boulder/Maryland COVID-19 performing arts aerosol study.

For additional information, including a video discussion, a press release, and a revised one-page summary of results/recommendations, please visit the homepage of the study. 

Questions regarding the study may be directed to the Aerosol Study FAQs Blog.

I would like to emphasize one more time that we need to operate with a tremendous sense of personal responsibility this fall. The decisions that we make this fall when we are on campus will have a profound impact on the health and safety of our community. We need to protect what matters most to us every day this fall. We need to stay healthy in order to protect our ability to continue to deliver face-to-face instruction. We need to protect one another. 

-Wishing you continued health and safety,

Sheila Dunn, 

Director of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music