Violinist and musicologist Lorenzo Candelaria has been appointed Dean of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.
Candelaria comes to Blair from the State University of New York at Purchase, bringing a varied musical background. His undergraduate violin study was complimented by work with the erhu, an ancient Chinese instrument. While pursuing a PhD in musicology with a focus on early music, Candelaria was simultaneously working as a performer in mariachi bands, including Walt Disney World’s Mariachi Cobre. As a Fulbright fellow, he studied Catholic plainchant and liturgy in Spain.
As a faculty member at the University of Texas at El Paso, Candelaria earned accolades for the success of the university’s Hispanic Serving Institution, which served 25,000 students along the under-served US-Mexico border. He is frequently engaged to speak on topics ranging from plainchant to mariachi music to 21st century arts education.
Retiring Dean Mark Wait described his 27 years at Blair as a privilege. He praised Candelaria’s leadership skills and said, “the Blair School’s best days lie ahead.”