Becker to stay at LU

Brianna Stapleton

The conductor of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra has forfeited tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in order to remain at Lawrence. Professor David Becker, who was tenured upon his arrival at Lawrence at the beginning of this academic year, will continue to direct the orchestra and teach courses in conducting. “I think that’s a tribute to the students he is working with,” said President Jill Beck.
Becker was appointed director of orchestral studies in 2005. Before coming
to Lawrence, he was the director of orchestras at UW-Madison and the associate
conductor of the Madison Symphony. His career as a violinist and conductor has taken him to Atlanta, Syracuse, Savannah, Memphis, Louisville, Santa Fe, Miami, Vienna and Spain. Becker received degrees from Ithaca College and the University of Louisville and has served on the faculties
at the University of Miami, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Georgia, and Memphis State University.
David Burrows, Lawrence’s provost and dean of faculty, commented that Becker is “extremely talented” and has worked well with the orchestra. “His ability to teach, to engage in creative work, and to be of service to Lawrence is well documented
and well understood,” said the dean. Burrows commented that tenure is is awarded based on excellence in teaching, creative work and service,
and appointing Becker with tenure
was a positive decision that will enhance the Conservatory programs.
The conductor cites the exceptional
students and educational integrity of Lawrence as his reasons for accepting tenure. “I am honored to be a member of the Lawrence University Conservatory family,” said Becker.
Becker also hinted at an initiative involving the formation of basketball,
softball and volleyball teams within the Conservatory for faculty and students “who need more physical
exercise time out of the practice room.” Becker wryly added, “We are presently in the secret planning stages
of this comprehensive project.”
You can see Becker in action when he conducts the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra for the production
of Mozart’s The Magic Flute Feb. 16, 17 and 19 in Stansbury Theatre.