Noel Painter

Associate Dean of the School of Music; Director of Music Theory; Associate Professor of Music

Noel Painter, associate dean of the School of Music at Stetson University, is an associate professor of music and the director of the music theory program. Painter received his Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music in May of 2000. His earlier studies include a master of performance in percussion (1995), a master of arts in music theory (1994) from Eastman and a bachelor of music degree from Furman University (1991).

At Stetson University, Painter directs the music theory curriculum, including the primary theory sequence, music culture, musical style and analysis, aural training, functional keyboard, and the upper-division theory courses orchestration and arranging, counterpoint, and advanced analytic techniques. While at Stetson University he has compiled supplemental listening material for all aural training courses with recordings from a wide variety of vocal, chamber and ensemble literature excerpts. Additionally, Painter and other faculty members have created and edited series of text books for the creatively-redesigned functional keyboard curriculum.

In 2009, Painter was awarded the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award, first presented to a faculty member in 1975, is the most prestigious honor given to a Stetson University faculty member at the DeLand campus and represents excellence in both teaching and scholarship. Michael King, Ph.D., the 2008 winner, described Painter as "an amazing teacher who has been consistently lauded as one of Stetson [University]'s best. His students are driven by his high standards and expectations, are inspired by his enthusiasm for his subject and for teaching, and are impressed by his ability to ensure that everyone in his classes is learning... One of his students even described him as the 'jewel in the crown of the Stetson University faculty.'" Painter is only the fourth music faculty member to be awarded the McEniry Award in all the years that the award has been given.

Prior to his arrival at Stetson University, Painter taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Eastman and the University of Rochester. A result of his commitment to teaching and scholarship, Painter was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, the Sloan Scholarship Award and the Edward Peck Curtis Teaching Award -- the highest graduate award available to graduate assistants at any of the University of Rochester's six campus branches.

Painter has studied with some of the most renowned names in music, including percussion studies with John Beck, and music theory with Elizabeth Marvin, Robert Morris, David Beach and Bob Gauldin. His primary research examines how contour analysis and transformation networks may be combined to show large scale connections in the multiple percussion literature of the twentieth century. Other research interests include twentieth century tonal systems and aural training pedagogy.

In addition to his work at Stetson University, Painter served as the director of music at the First Baptist Church of DeLand from January 2004 to June 2011. He resides in DeLand with his wife, Frankie, and their two children.


  • Ph.D., music theory, Eastman School of Music, 2000
  • M.M., percussion performance, Eastman School of Music, 1995
  • M.A., music theory, Eastman School of Music, 1994
  • B.M., music theory, Furman University, 1991

Course Topics

  • Music Culture
  • Musical Style and Analysis
  • Aural Training
  • Functional Keyboard
  • Orchestration and Arranging
  • Music Theory III
  • Theories of Contemporary Music
  • Advanced Analytical Techniques

Research Interests

  • Course development in macro music analysis education
  • Combination of contour analysis and transformation networks to show large scale connections in the multiple percussion literature of the 20th century
  • Twentieth century tonal systems and aural training pedagogy

Noel Painter

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