The late Professor of Music Nicholas V. D’Angelo P’98, HON’59 has been named as the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA). During Reunion 2013, D’Angelo will be honored by the Hobart Alumni Association and the William Smith Alumnae Association.
“Generations of Hobart and William Smith students benefited from D’Angelo’s lively presence and dedication to his craft,” President Mark D. Gearan remarked following D’Angelo’s passing in 2010. “He was an engaged colleague who brought great credit to HWS for his well known compositions and guest conductor appearances across the country and throughout Europe.”
The award will be presented on Saturday, June 8, during Reunion 2013. A reception and awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on the Scandling Café Patio, with a dinner to follow at 7 p.m. on the Quad.
D’Angelo came to the Colleges in 1955, and his career spanned 56 years at Hobart and William Smith. During his time, D’Angelo served as chair of Music Department, and led off-campus programs abroad in London. A dedicated member of the HWS and Geneva communities, he was an exemplary leader on several faculty committees and an active member of the regional arts community. He also founded the Colleges’ jazz ensemble, and was instrumental in creating the first National Symposium on Black Music, which was held in 1969 on campus.
“The committee was struck by the overwhelming number of responses from former students who stated Professor D’Angelo was the reason their careers are in music,” says DFA co-chair Julie Bazan D’Angelo ’93 (who is not related to Professor D’Angelo). “So many alums wrote that he was ‘a great role model,’ ‘extremely inspiring’ and ‘he made music come alive.'”
In one nomination for the award, a former student remarked: “He was an amazing composer. He loved the HWS community and enjoyed working with small groups of students and being able to really impact the direction they went with music.”
Born in Erie, Pa., D’Angelo was veteran of the Korean War as conductor of the Air Force Band. While a young man, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to receive a master’s from Syracuse University. As a student, he studied under influential musicians such as Bernard Rogers, Luigi Dallapiccola, Paul Hindemith and Earl George.
Gifted in musical composition, he was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the First Prize at the New American Music Festival, the Sheena Meeker Memorial Award for a new work for chamber orchestra, the University of Georgia Bicentennial Prize for new chamber work, and the Michigan State University performance award. In 1985, D’Angelo was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music. During his tenure as professor, he was given the 1976 Faculty Prize for Distinguished Research and Scholarship.
D’Angelo’s music has been recorded and played throughout the world, with notable performances in the U.S., Mexico, England, France and Italy.
The Distinguished Faculty Award was established in 1990 by the Hobart Alumni Association and the William Smith Alumnae Association. This joint award of the Associations recognizes the importance that graduates of these Colleges place on the contributions of outstanding faculty members of the past – for their impact as teachers, mentors and scholars. Nominations for the award are sought by all alumni and alumnae and are professors who are retired or have moved on from Hobart and William Smith for more than five years or are deceased.