Alfred University News

Alfred University appoints Jessie Thoman inaugural associate dean, performing arts

Jessie Thoman has been appointed Alfred University’s first-ever associate dean of the Division of Performing Arts. She began her duties on Monday, July 8.

Thoman comes to Alfred University from University of Tennessee at Martin, where she had served as professor of music since 2011. There, she was an instructor in horn, chamber music, music history, and music appreciation, and also a member of the Faculty Senate, serving on committees on Instruction, Budget and Economic Concerns (Chair), Advisory, and Curriculum (Co-Chair).

“As the inaugural Associate Dean of Alfred University’s Performing Arts Division, I am thrilled to embark on this journey of artistic exploration and academic excellence,” Thoman commented. “Together, we will cultivate a vibrant community where creativity thrives, and students are empowered to realize their full potential. I am excited to collaborate with the extraordinary faculty, staff, and students to shape the future of performing arts education, fostering a dynamic environment that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and innovation.”

In her role as associate dean, Thoman will work closely with Lauren Lake, dean of the School of Art and Design and Performing Arts Division, to lead the implementation of the University’s new state-approved Interdisciplinary Performing Arts B.F.A. degrees in dance, theatre, performance design and technology, music-sound studies, and music-performance, along with strengthening the current B.A. degrees in music and theatre, and minors. She will lead recruitment efforts to build strong cohorts and continue the strong outreach of the Performing Arts Division both on and off campus.  

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Thoman join our team in Performing Arts at this pivotal moment in the Division’s history,” Lake said. “Her experience, expertise, and dedication will undoubtedly be valuable assets as we work together to achieve our strategic goals and enhance the impact of mentorship, intersections and inclusivity, through and about the arts at Alfred University.”

Thoman earned her Bachelor of Music degree, music education, from SUNY Potsdam; Master of Music and Master of Arts degrees, brass pedagogy and performance, from The Ohio State University; and her Doctor of Music degree, brass pedagogy and literature, from Indiana University.


Prior to Tennessee-Martin, Thoman was an instructor of horn at the University of Nevada Reno from 2010-11.

Thoman is an active orchestral and chamber musician and for 14 years (2009-22) was the hornist and founding member of the Mirari Brass Quintet, an international touring ensemble that maintained a busy performing and educational outreach schedule. The group released two albums, “Spires,” and “Renewed, Reused, Recycled” (Summit Records) and hosted a podcast, titled “Mirari: Unmuted!”, where members discussed a variety of music related topics. Thoman recently resigned from the group to focus on her new passion in leadership and administration.

She served as Third Horn for the Paducah Symphony Orchestra (Paducah, KY) from 2011-24, and was instructor of horn (2015-24) and head of intermediate brass (2017) with the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Program, Interlochen, MI.